Himalayan Balsam

Impatiens glandulifera

Description

Tall annual herb. Can grow up to 2 meters tall with a white or pink flower emerging in late summer. Leaves have a distinct mid-vein, usually red, near the base of the leaf. The plant has a circular hollow stem and a shallow fibrous root system.

Distribution

Located throughout Great Britain.

Habitat

Its natural range is the Himalayas, India and Pakistan. Within Great Britain it is usually found along river banks and in damp habitats.

Impact

It is able to out-compete desirable species along river banks. Being an annual, it dies back at the end of the summer and leaves large areas of bare soil which can become more susceptible to erosion.

Control and Management

Control and management techniques vary depending on the site and situation. The following information needs to be evaluated for each site.
Manual Removal:
All plants: Pull out, ensure tap root removed, March – June.
Chemical:
Younger plants: Under 1 meter, apply glyphosate, May – September.

Recommended Action

1. Map individuals and populations and share data with LISI.
2. Organise removal and education programmes where appropriate.
3. Follow treatment information as above where appropriate. Before work ensure you have all correct licences and certificates for the use of any herbicide or technique being used.
4. Contact your local boroughs environmental team or LISI directly for information if required.
5. Monitor the site for seed regeneration.

Health & Safety Guidance

There is no specific Health and Safety information for this species other than general site considerations.

Further Information

Further information is available on the Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat website www.nonnatives.org.uk

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