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Himalayan Balsam

What is Himalayan Balsam?

Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens Glandulifera) is the tallest growing annual plant in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is highly invasive due to its unique seed distribution method and its ability to grow 3 metres in height in a 3 month period.

Why is Himalayan Balsam a problem in the UK and Ireland?

It is commonly found adjacent to watercourses, in damp ground and increasingly on roadside verges. The plant has an explosive mechanism by which ripe seeds are hurled from the plant, to enlarge the colony or be carried away by water to fresh ground and the seeds may be thrown as far as 2m away. As it is an annual, it has no other reproductive method other than seed, and thus prevention of seeding is the key to control.

Himalayan Balsam and the Law

  • Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981)

  • Environmental Protection Act (1990)

  • Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (2014)

Identification

What does Himalayan Balsam look like? View our image gallery to identify Himalayan Balsam. 

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What does Himalayan Balsam look like? View our image gallery to identify Himalayan Balsam. 

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Howard Downer

THE EXPERT DR. KNOTWEED

Howard Downer, AKA Dr. Knotweed, has over 20 years of experience as an Environmental Consultant and is regarded by his peers as one of the most knowledgeable people in the Japanese knotweed industry.

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