Himalayan Balsam was added to Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in April 2009 in Wales and England. Himalayan Balsam is a tasty plant commonly eaten as curry in its native Northern India. If you've ever wandered along a riverbank, pond or lake, we guarantee you will have seen it at least once! Himalayan balsam also promotes river bank erosion due to the plant dying back over winter, leaving the bank unprotected from flooding. Weedkillers for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining weedkillers available to gardeners; see sections 3 and 4), Chemicals: using a sprayer The plants grow densely and stop the growth of other plants and grasses. It was introduced to the UK in 1839 and is now a … Plants can grow up to 3m tall, making this the tallest annual species growing wild in the UK. Himalayan Balsam can spread extremely rapidly thanks to the huge amount of seeds it can produce. Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is a relative of the busy Lizzie, but reaches well over head height, and is a major weed problem, especially on riverbanks and waste land, but can also invade gardens. Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm, Join the RHS today and support our charity. The non-selective contact weedkillers acetic acid (Weedol Gun! Himalayan balsam tolerates low light levels and also shades out other vegetation, so gradually impoverishing habitats by … Conservation authorities regularly organise ‘balsam bashing’ work parties to clear the weed from marshland and riverbanks. It has an explosive seed capsule, which scatters seeds over a distance of up to 7m. Q6: Why is Himalayan balsam an invasive species? The plant is spread by two principal means; Plants that out-compete other more desirable plants or simply invade half the garden are classed as weeds and require control. Himalayan Balsam is an invasive plant with easily identifiable pink or white heart-shaped flowers, that was introduced to the UK in 1839. Himalayan balsam grows up to 3 metres high with a hollow and bamboo-like … The more seeds we eat, the fewer seeds there will remain to spread this plant. Roundup Fast Action, Westland Resolva Pro Xtra Tough Weedkiller, SBM Job done General Purpose Weedkiller or Doff Maxi Strength Glyphosate Weedkiller). Fast Acting, Ecofective Weed Blast, ResolvaFast Weedkiller, Vitax Garden Weedkiller), fatty acids (SBM Solabiol Super Fast Weedkiller) or pelargonic acid (Doff 24/7 Fast Acting Weedkiller, Neudorff Weedfree Express, Westland Resolva Xpress Weedkiller, Roundup NL Weed Control) can be applied before flowering. Common Names. What is Himalayan Balsam? Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is an introduced summer annual that has naturalised in the UK, mainly along riverbanks and ditches. Himalayan Balsam was introduced to the UK in 1839 as a greenhouse and warm garden plant and, within a few years had escaped into the wild. Himalayan balsam (Inpatiens glandulifera) is a large annually growing plant that is native to the Himalayan mountains.Due to human introduction, it has now spread across much of the Northern Hemisphere. Himalayan Balsam is one of the UK’s most fastest-spreading invasive weeds today. It will be included in Scotland by the end of 2011. Treat Himalayan balsam at early flowering stage to ensure the weed is knocked back before it has chance to self-seed. The plant has had plenty of time to establish in the UK and, over the last 50 years, has spread rapidly. Choose a weedkiller that is most appropriate for the purpose by reading the label carefully before buying or using. Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds. Top updates. Himalayan Balsam Toolbox Talk. Himalayan Balsam is not toxic to humans, although some people may be allergic to its pollen. However, less attention is paid to Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera), a relative of the much-loved Busy Lizzie found in floral borders and displays across the UK, an annual plant which grows to about 2 m with purplish-pink slipper shaped flowers in June – August (CEH 2005). The flowers are followed by seed pods that open explosively when ripe. Between June and October it produces clusters of purplish pink (or rarely white) helmet-shaped flowers. Himalayan balsam monoculture on the river Camel, Cornwall, UK. The main method of non-chemical control, and usually the most appropriate, is pulling or cutting the plants before they flower and set seed. It is fast-growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat at the expense of other, native flowers. Residual weedkillers persist in the soil for several weeks or months and can move deeper or sideways in the soil, leading to possible damage of underlying plant roots. We aim to make this as useful as possible for people to go out an make a difference locally, and we need all the help we can get. It grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes. Its aggressive seed dispersal, coupled with high nectar production which attracts pollinators, often allow it to outcompete native plants. the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. Find the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on the Legislation.gov.uk website. Himalayan balsam tolerates low light levels and also shades out other vegetation, so gradually impoverishing habitats by killing off other plants. Chemicals: using safely and effectively It starves native plants from sunlight and mineral, leaving riverbanks more susceptible to erosion. Useful links. We would recommend you also look elsewhere for further information, possibly not covered on these pages. Glyphosate is a non-selective, systemic weedkiller that is applied to the foliage. RHS Garden Hyde Hall Spring and Orchid Show, Free entry to RHS members at selected Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) Controlling the Spread of Himalayan Balsam The Plant. Produced by Cymdeithas Llandudoch, St Dogmaels Community Association The information on these pages has been pulled together by non-experts, through extensive web searches and limited consultation with experts. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Chemical control Users must be aware of the risks involved when using chemicals to control any plant especially as it tends to grows near water. This plant is the least harmful of our three main invasive species. Colonising rail and river banks, wastelands and woodlands, Himalayan balsam was introduced to the British Isles in 1839 by Victorian plant hunters who were keen on its beautiful pink flowers and exploding seed pods. Glyphosate is most effective when weed growth is vigorous. Himalayan balsam grows in dense clumps and is a herbaceous annual plant, which is easily identifiable when mature. Safety Bulletins 163.67 views per day | under Safety Bulletin; Jargon Buster 105 views per day | under Tools; These are dispersed widely as the ripe seedpods shoot their seeds up to 7m (22ft) away. Scientific Name. It is locally c… Himalayan balsam grows up to 3 m tall and is reputed to be the tallest annual plant found in the UK. About. Himalayan or Indian balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is an annual herb and was introduced to Britain in 1839. It is inactivated on contact with the soil, so there is no risk of damage to the roots of nearby ornamentals, but care must be taken that the spray doesn't drift onto their foliage. Some parts of Himalayan Balsam are edible, and the flowers can be used to make ‘champagne’ similar to that which is made with elderflowers. It can advise on suitably qualified contractors, as can the National Association of Agricultural and Amenity Contractors. Himalayan balsam ( Impatiens glandulifera) is an invasive plant introduced to Britain in the mid 19th Century by Victorian gardeners. • Himalayan balsam is an annual plant with bright purple-pink flowers. You may well have heard of Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) as it increasingly features in our press. Join the RHS today and support our charitable work, Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully, For the latest on RHS Shows in 2020 and 2021, read more, RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens, Free entry to RHS members at selected times », Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops, Our Garden Centres and online shops are packed with unique and thoughtful gifts and decorations to make your Christmas sparkle, General enquiries The Himalayan Balsam was introduced in the UK in 1839 as a greenhouse and garden plant, but it only took a few decades for it to escape into the wild. Its common name is “Policeman’s Helmet” due to the shape of the flowers. It is a non-native, highly invasive weed that damages the habitats it finds itself in by crowding out our native species. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. It prefers moist soils but will grow anywhere. The species is particularly frequent along the banks of watercourses, where it often forms continuous stands. Himalayan balsam is sometimes cultivated for its flowers. It is now widely established in other parts of the world (such as the British Isles and North America), in some cases becoming a weed. • It is listed under schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside ... Find the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 on the Legislation.gov.uk website. Introduced to the UK in 1839, Himalayan balsam is now a naturalised plant, found especially on riverbanks and in waste places where it has become a problem weed. Once growing, Himalayan Balsam can spread at a fearsome rate and the problem here is now so huge that in the central Lake District alone, our Rangers and volunteers spend at least 50 days between them tackling the plant every year. Commonly found along riverbanks and streams, around ponds and lakes, in wet woodlands and in ditches and damp meadows. Introduced to the UK in 1839, Himalayan balsam is now a naturalised plant, found especially on riverbanks and in waste places where it has become a problem weed. Chemicals: using spot and broad-scale weedkillers By foraging for this free food you can help your budget and the environment. Himalayan Balsam (HB) is considered to be the tallest growing annual plant in the UK (2-3m) It is a non-native alien species introduced by the Victorians for its pretty pink bell-like flowers prompting its common name ‘Policemen’s Helmets’. Hedgerow Type. Growing and spreading rapidly, it successfully competes with native plant species for space, light, nutrients and pollinators, and … Individual plants reach 2m in height, have translucent fleshy stems, pink-purple slipper-shaped flowers and large oval pointed leaves. Himalayan Balsam, Policemans Helmet, Bobby Tops, Copper Tops. Click here for the latest Himalayan Balsam information leaflet. Himalayan balsam is a non-native invasive terrestrial plant species. This website is still very much in development, and may change from time to time in the coming months. Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) has quickly become one of the UK s most invasive weed species, colonising river banks, waste ground and damp woodlands. Himalayan balsam is native to the foothills of the Himalayas, India and Pakistan, and was first released into the UK in 1839 as an ornamental garden plant. It escaped into the wild and is now recorded throughout the UK, particularly along the banks of watercourses. RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team. Himalayan balsam was introduced as a garden plant in 1839, but soon escaped and became widely naturalised along riverbanks and ditches, especially close to towns. 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