Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
Himalayan Balsam is incredibly invasive in moist areas such as ditches and along streams. Himalayan Balsam can outcompete native riparian species and when it dies back in the fall it leaves streambanks susceptible to erosion.
Himalayan Balsam originates from the Western Himalayas. It was introduced to Canada in the early 1900s as an ornamental garden flower. It is now considered a pest in many countries throughout the world. It can be seen along several trails and roadsides in Prince Edward Island.
Himalayan Balsam is fairly easy to identify, especially if it is still in flower. Here are some distinguishing features you can look for.
- Can grow to be 2m tall
- Red bamboo-like stem
- Distinct flower with sac structure
- Flowers are deep pink to white
- Flowers bloom from June– October
- Seed pods is are tear-drop-shaped and the slightest pressure will cause them to explode and release seeds
- Leaves are long, slender, sharply-toothed, and arranged oppositely
- Forms large, dense, stands
PEIISC factsheet on Himalayan Balsam
PEIISC factsheet on Managing Himalayan Balsam
Himalayan Balsam is considered a priority species for the PEI Invasive Species Spotters Network. If you see this plant, please report your sighting.
Distinct deep pink – white flowers with sac structure
Leaves are long, slender, sharply – toothed and arranged oppositely
Stems are red and bamboo-like
Himalayan Balsam often invades riparian zones. Because the plants have a weak root system, they can cause increased erosion in these areas.