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Common Name(s): Himalayan Balsam
Scientific Name: Impatiens glandulifera
Impatiens glandulifera, more commonly known as Himalayan Balsam, was introduced to the UK in 1839 and is now a naturalised plant, found especially on riverbanks and in waste places where it has become a problem weed. It tolerates low light levels and also shades out other vegetation, so gradually impoverishing habitats by killing off other plants. Himalayan balsam is a tall growing annual, 2-3m in height. Between June and October it produces clusters of purplish pink (or rarely white) helmet-shaped flowers. The flowers are followed by seed pods that open explosively when ripe. Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds. These are dispersed widely as the ripe seedpods shoot their seeds up to 7m away.
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