HIMALAYAN BALSAM (Impatiens glandulifera)
Himalayan Balsam originates from the Indian Subcontinent, where it is native to the western and central Himalaya. The plant was introduced to Kew Gardens in 1839 by Dr. Royle from Kashmir. Its first record of naturalisation in the wild was in Hertfordshire and Middlesex, in the United Kingdom, in 1855. Since then, Himalayan Balsam has become a major weed problem, especially on riverbanks and waste land, and can also invade gardens. It grows rapidly and spreads easily, and is now widespread across northern Europe and Scandinavia, where it has reached pest status in many countries.
Extract from the Non Native Species Secretariat Identification Sheet for Himalayan Balsam
Himalayan Balsam is an annual herb with stout succulent hollow stems which grow up to 2.5m. Its leaves are opposite or in whorls of 3 to 5, and it has a helmeted flower which is deep purplish-
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