Suzy Peters. You will need. According to my studies over the last ten years, balsam is, without doubt, the most important riverbank plant for bumble bees, honey bees, wasps, hoverflies and more than 50 species of other flies. It starves native plants from sunlight and mineral, leaving riverbanks more susceptible to erosion. Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is an introduced summer annual that has naturalised in the UK, mainly along riverbanks and ditches. Himalayan balsam grows up to 3 metres high with a hollow and bamboo-like … glanduliferae var. Ornamental jewelweed refers to its cultivation as an ornamental plant.. January 2015 September 2013 It's rather rare and protected where I live, but the Plants For A Future database mentions the leaves and seeds being edible: http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Impatiens+noli-tangere (you'll have to copy and paste the link in your browser). Himalayan Balsam was added to schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in Wales and England. It took me four years to eradicate after my neighbor strewed it along our verge because she liked the flowers. Ive got two stems of rasberries appear this year by the shed and so far have had 10 berries off them, thank you mother nature, but the wild patch of raspberries over in the small woodland area over the way has died off this year producing only half a pound of berries but last year we filled our freezer with them. It is important that we continue to promote these adverts as our local businesses need as much support as possible during these challenging times. even with my best ones having stems that are approximately six inches diameter the roots only extend approx twelve inches diameter and are very shallow. Puccinia komarovii var. The magical bit is that the gin is a straw colour, but when you add tonic water to It the glass it immediately turns pink. Plant Language European Journal of Plant Pathology, 141:247-266. Its a massive & unnecessary problem for us too. On still, warm mornings, virtually every flowerhead is nodding under the weight of feeding bees. Trees were splintering as they were ripped from the ground. It prefers moist soils but will grow pretty much anywhere. The plant may make walking along the riverbank difficult, but it supports more wildlife than any other riverside plant in late summer. If you need a more accessible version of this document please email digital@gov.wales. July 2012 I live in one of France's neighbour countries, Belgium, and it grows here abundantly. Populations Etymology. It is an offence to plant this species or to cause it to grow in the wild. Please tell us the format you need. While it comes from Asia, it has spread into other habitats, where it pushes out native plants and can wreak serious havoc on the environment. Himalayan Balsam is a good nectar source, and because it flowers late, it is widely loved by beekeepers. The flowers of Himalayan balsam are attractive to bees which has the potential to bias bees to collect nectar from the balsam rather than from native species, thus reducing native plant pollination. I HAVE managed several miles of the River Ure between West Tanfield and Ripon for 50 years. The good thing is that you will never rid the riverbanks of balsam, although I have no problem with removing it in special areas to help certain rare species of plant or insect, like the tansy beetle. Rare plants, such as Herb Paris and Yellow Star of Bethlehem, are still recorded in good numbers. I shall treat them with extreme caution!! A Gannett Company. Himalayan balsam grows up to 3 m tall and is reputed to be the tallest annual plant found in the UK. Himalayan Balsam, also called Policeman’s helmet, is native to the western Himalayas. Videos. I've seen and admired whole swathes of Himalyan balsam along river banks, not once is there a scorched earth effect eating it's way out year after year into the surrounding fields denying the wildlife the vegetation and the farmers their crops. Because if you don't it sets as hard as concrete making it unusable to feed the young with, and that comes on top of the 'June Dearth' when nectar is in short supply elsewhere, Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is a very attractive but problematic plant, especially in the British Isles. As a group we must have destroyed thousands & yet we only found one plant that the native insects had colonized & were hopefully having a good munch on. Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) promotes soil erosion along watercourses, according to research published in the Journal of Soil Sediments last month (Dec 2013) If the Himalayan Balsam is near a water-course the use of chemical control may be impossible. Commonly found along riverbanks and streams, around ponds and lakes, in wet woodlands and in ditches and damp meadows. In their native lands, the balsam of Peru, copaiba, and fir have had many uses in folk medicine, from healing wounds to detoxing the body by functioning as a diuretic. Of course bees absolutely love balsam & humans need bees. The flowers can also be used to make floral jams and jellies or added to salads. While it comes from Asia, it has spread into other habitats, where it pushes out native plants and can wreak serious havoc on the environment. It is fast-growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat at the expense of other, native flowers. The use of herbicides to control Himalayan balsam carries environmental risks due to the plant’s typical proximity to waterways and although regular removal by volunteers has been valuable, it is an arduous task that must be repeated for a number of years at a catchment scale to be effective. Here in Essex England it is very dry, so each year they get fewer until they disappear altogether, but I just collect a few seeds when in a wetter area & start again. Traditional control methods are currently inadequate in controlling Himalayan balsam in the UK. Himalayan balsam has many common names, some relating to the hat-shaped flower: policeman’s helmet; Gnome’s hatstand. Now we have human intervention on a massive scale transferring plants (and sometimes insects) around the globe, and finding that new, incomer species, can wipe out the unique local habitat with its hundreds of species that took so many thousands of years to evolve, in a very short time. Himalayan balsam is an introduced annual naturalised along riverbanks and ditches. December 2014 Just made a magical himalayan balsam gin from it’s flowers from a recipe by craftinvaders. We took away the native food sources, now we’re taking away the non-natives. You can pull out 5 six foot plants one handed. Recipes However, it does have some redeeming features and whilst I can understand the reasons for it being much despised I feel somebody has to speak up in support of this controversial but defenceless and, even though invidious of me to say it, invaluable plant! This shows how easily this invasive species to the UK, spreads its seeds away from the plant . I live in central France. Himalayan balsam is an annual plant that grows from the previous year’s seeds. To fight Himalayan balsam, plants must be chopped down, or pulled up as they come into flower in June or July. Summer salad would not be the same without balsam flowers and lemon mint leaves. August 2014 I have bought balsam at a local Amish market and it is leaves which they use for tea. Edible weed: how to eat Himalayan balsam flower and use the stem as a straw, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Populations Impact Native Habitats: Himalayan Balsam can rapidly out-compete native plants due to its ability to rapidly reproduce and grow in dense stands. According to my studies over the last ten years, balsam is, without doubt, the most important riverbank plant for bumble bees, honey bees, wasps, hoverflies and more than 50 species of other flies. Consent to use specific herbicides near UK waterways must be sought from the Environment Agency. It has a preference for wet feet though - so it likes to grow near riversides etc. Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is an exotic-looking annual that has pink, helmet-shaped flowers (also known as "policeman’s helmet”), rapid growth, and an … It was introduced to North America as an ornamental garden plant. For example, Andrews et al . V.demoralizing. What should not be allowed are the counties of oilseed. I dont spend thousands a year wailing and nashings teeth worrying about what in some peoples eyes are invasive species, Britains full of them, I had a Himalayan Honeysuckle appear 4 yrs ago, its now 12 feet tall and full of beautiful racemes of flowers and berries, The postman hates it but the blackbirds love the berries, the postman lost. My neighbour gave me a seed packet labelled Himalayan Balsam. November 2012 All gardeners love nature - so please be conscientious in your plant choices. June 2012 Himalayan Balsam is a saving grace for honey bees and other insects in the North West. The plant produces a large amount of nectar which may result in less pollination of native species by bumblebees and a subsequent loss of biodiversity. January 2013 As a subscriber, you are shown 80% less display advertising when reading our articles. It escaped into the wild and is now recorded throughout the UK, particularly along the banks of watercourses. Himalayan balsam uses small economically-produced flowers to attracts bees. June 2014 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. Himalayan balsam is Britain’s tallest annual plant with each plant tending to be around 1-2 metres high, although they can reach a height of 2.5 metres in some cases! I also ask when has the National Park been the custodian of our rivers? grown for profit and bio-fuel. These adverts enable local businesses to get in front of their target audience – the local community. 3 MB. I have now messaged a few beekeeper forums asking this same question. High rainfall and very efficient land drainage cause bank erosion, not a few puny plants that have hollow stems and virtually no root system. The flowers are also edible and are used in jellies and wines. Balsam has barely any root system. In years when the Balsam doesn't produce a good amount of nectar, I usually end up having to feed my bees sugar syrup in the Autumn for them to have enough food to survive the winter. This makes it a great activity for schools, groups and volunteers to get stuck into. Soil erosion is not just a problem for the local wildlife. Himalayan Balsam seed. If you see balsam please pull it out, or at the very least don't plant it; you don't know where its hundreds of seeds will end up... Balsam seeds can be transported on shoes and tires as well as the more traditional route where the seed bursts on a river bank & is transported by water. The Act makes it an offence to grow Himalayan Balsam in the wild. The plant produces a large amount of nectar which may result in less pollination of native species by bumblebees and a subsequent loss of biodiversity. Keep reading to learn more about how to control Himalayan balsam plants. Land managers often give up when faced with controlling Himalayan balsam over a large area due to… Please do not sow seeds of Himalayan Balsam, its incredibly invasive and will smother out native plants! Wright (1909) highlights the value of Himalayan balsam as a species for decorative gardening. Himalayan balsam: controlling it on your land, file type: PDF, file size: 3 MB . • Chilled: use slab for fruits and vegetables or as a decoration. In December 2015, I was on the Ure’s flood bank at 3am with the river at my feet. Because balsam likes to grow along river banks & it forces out all of the deeper rooted plants soil erosion is inevitable - the balsams roots simply do not have the strength/depth to hold the soil together. If you are a beekeeper you would know that if your bees gather the water coloured and insipid tasting nectar from this plant you have to get it out of the combs within ten days flat. Ornamental jewelweed refers to its cultivation as an ornamental plant.. However, if this species spreads to the wild or to a neighbour’s property then landowners/ Absolutely share your concerns re oilseed rape and bees. If you use assistive technology please tell us what this is. However, despite the plant being valued for these reasons, Himalayan Balsam is actually … The ground was vibrating with the force of huge boulders grinding along the riverbed. Especially in winter - when as Derek mentions above, the balsams watery stem dies off & leaves bare earth. Eco systems evolved over hundreds of thousands of years with interdependent vegetation, insects and birds suited to the places in which they evolved. Can Treat Anxiety And Depression. March 2012, All It will prevent the plant from going into seed and propagating even more. Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is a very attractive but problematic plant, especially in the British Isles. I have literally seen forests of the stuff stretching as far as the eye can see with nothing else surviving underneath. The colour is so vivid that I would use it to colour jellies, jams and cordials. Himalayan Balsam Seed Curry Recipe Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) has been Dead sheep, cattle and even a complete chicken shed came rushing past. The HB has only got to 6 inches tall to date (probably because I never water and this is a garden in full sun all day) Typical eh? It has an explosive seed capsule, which scatters seeds over a distance of up to 7m. Additionally, after dying back in the fall, bare riverbanks are exposed, increasing erosion during higher winter flows. I usually allow just 3 plants to survive per year on my small plot so they grow as 'spectacular as nature internded'. Salt Slabs – They are good to use since they impart minerals and give food a pleasant taste. Because if this is really true then that would be another huge factor to the collapse of bees colonies worldwide since Bee population is down 30% from those pollenating Oilseed crops. It is possible that Himalayan balsam plants grown at lower irradiance levels have a reduction in foliar nutrients available to support the rust. Himalayan balsam monoculture on the river Camel, Cornwall, UK. Release date: 16 November 2011. September 2012 I challenge its opponents to name one plant or animal that has disappeared in all those years because of it. Invasive Species - (Impatiens glandulifera) Watch List Himalayan Balsam grows 3-6 feet tall and has purple/red stems that are smooth and hollow. My 'specimen' HB's have a trunk of over three inches diameter and have many branches and are approx 4 feet tall. I wonder if you can make himalayan seedpod wine?? Related. According to Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offense in England and Wales to allow Himalayan Balsam … We’ll be working with groups and volunteers to undertake much of our Himalayan balsam removal work. Thankfully Himalayan/Indian balsam is here to stay. In all the years I've grown them they have never spread to my neighbours gardens. Well edible ! With the bee population in free fall, I would have thought that destroying the one plant that is most used by bees in August and September was not the brightest project to promote. Impact Native Habitats: Himalayan Balsam can rapidly out-compete native plants due to its ability to rapidly reproduce and grow in dense stands. Himalayan Balsam is a common weed familiar to everybody. Can this be the same invasive weed? As it is an annual and only roots a couple of inches deep it's hardly a plague that needs dealing with. Its common name is “Policeman’s Helmet” due to the shape of the flowers. The native insects do not yet have a taste for balsam & so the plant has few predators to keep it in check. Yes. ©Copyright 2001-2020. Yorkshire Dales rivers have always eroded their banks, and they always will. Close all around them are Asian poppies (beautiful Gold) cornflowers Gallardia, Potentillas and clover. Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is an invasive terrestrial plant species that was first introduced as an ornamental garden plant and is spread exclusively by seed.Since it was introduced, it has spread to most parts of Ireland. Himalayan balsam is listed under schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Hi Derek, I'm really interested to know where or how you heard about the damaging effect of Oilseed pollen. If you are dissatisfied with the response provided you can contact IPSO here. hmmm. They are useful for substituting in cakes instead of nuts for those with nut allergies and ground himalayan balsam seeds can be substituted for ground almonds. In the early 1800s it was introduced to many parts of Europe, New Zealand and North America as a garden ornamental. There are so many plants that people get 'a bee in their bonnet' about it's unreal, for example there's a tree that self seeded out the back (nope dont know what it is) it grows like a nutter every year and produces leaves that some little black caterpillar loves, everyone tells me to get rid of it and I refuse but cut it back to a bare trunk every year so it grows new branches and leaves for the caterpillars the next year. Due to Himalayan Balsam’s preference for habitats near water, this limits herbicide selection to products approved for use near water and the operatives applying it must be trained to PA6Aw level. Whoever came up with the theory that balsam smothers all other vegetation, leaving bare riverbanks to be eroded by the river, should get out from behind their computer. January 2014 I'd think twice before sowing the seeds - unless if you live in a more dry area. The names Himalayan Balsam and Kiss-me-on-the-Mountain came into being because the plant is from the Himalayan Mountains. Manual control . There are 5-10 flowers on each stem and the flowers have 5 petals that are purple, pink, or white in color. I have grown Himalayan Balsam since 1999 when I brought seeds back from a house exchange on Vancouver Island. Himalayan balsam, a relative of the busy Lizzie, was introduced to Britain as a garden plant in the 19th century. So if ever a plant needs banning it's the oilseed not the Balsam which is a fantastic source of nectar for you, me and the bees, just when it's needed. Himalayan Balsam gin tastes much like pink gin but somehow more ‘botanical’. Keep reading to learn more about how to control Himalayan balsam plants. I would like to see more done to provide alternative food sources for our pollinating insects when nectar-rich non-native plants are destroyed. But also concerned about people planting balsam. Yes here in 64 I am currently pulling it up around the cow feeder for the 2nd year. Hope this helps! Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens Glandulifera) is a relative of the “busy lizzy” but reaches well over head height and is a major weed problem.It is native to the western Himalayas and in the early 1800’s was introduced to many parts of Europe as a garden ornamental, it has since become an invasive plant as it grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes. I didn't know until last year that they are edible seeds and flowers so perhaps this year there will be four growing. And if you ran into the blooming plant, by all means eat the flowers. Newsquest Media Group Ltd, Loudwater Mill, Station Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Pleasant and refreshing drink with a floral taste when mixed with tonic. Orange balsam Small balsam Touch-me-not balsam Like most essential oils, balsam essential oil has … Impatiens glandulifera Royle (Ericales: Balsaminaceae), commonly known as Himalayan balsam, is an annual plant native to the foothills of the Himalayas in Pakistan and India, and into western Nepal. that's if I can get them before the grandchildren pop them. This stuff is extremely invasive and is steadily crowding out local native plants in the area of Northern England. Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) has rapidly become one of the UK’s most widespread invasive weed species, colonising river banks, waste land, damp woodlands, roadways and railways. We just got back from Germany where it grows as well. This means that native plants get a double hit by not being pollinated well, and also by being out-competed by the Balsam. . Himalayan or Indian balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is an annual herb and was introduced to Britain in 1839. However, it is extremely important to exert caution as even the slightest contact with the plant can result in … A true pink gin. October 2013 so far this year 'end of march 2014' I've seen at least fifty queen bumblers and about a dozen honeybees in my garden, so we have done something right last year. Tanner RA; Gange AC, 2013. 1 litre of gin. HP10 9TY | 01676637 | Registered in England & Wales. However, it is such a good source of nectar that often bees will visit Himalayan Balsam in preference to native plants. It’s a beautiful shade of pink which gets brighter if you add tonic. A native of the Western Himalaya, it was introduced in 1839 to Kew Gardens as a greenhouse exotic. The plant has had plenty of time to establish in the UK and, over the last 50 years, has spread rapidly. Hi Susan. The HB's fizzle away to nothing in the Autumn and you cannot tell where they have been, They root so shallowly that they struggle for water and so limit their size, and if you were to ask a beekeeper which he/she would prefer his/her bees to visit, Himalayan Balsam or Oilseed Rape, having been a beekeeper, I know just what the answer would be if you want your bees to survive. December 2012 In years when the Balsam doesn't produce a good amount of nectar, I usually end up having to feed my bees sugar syrup in the Autumn for them to have enough food to survive the winter. Other uses The oil from the seeds has been used for cooking and in lamps Hazards Himalayan Balsam contains high amounts of minerals, so should not be consumed in great quantities. Data returned from the Piano 'meterActive/meterExpired' callback event. nov.: a fungal agent for the biological control of Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera). Control efforts aim to prevent the plant from flowering and setting seed, as the seeds are explosive and can spread viable seed over large areas. This is what causes erosion – not Himalayan Balsam. However there are lots of other plants the bees would love equally. PDF. I was told they called them Imperial Busy Lizzies & I was asked to water them regularly. Legislated Because. Treat with extreme caution, this is an invasive species. Just be mindful that you don’t accidentally transport seeds to your garden!! Is this the same plant? If you use assistive technology please tell us what this is. Himalayan Balsam seed. . The green seed pods, seeds, young leaves and shoots are all edible and are traditionally used in curries in its native Himalayan region. . If you need a more accessible version of this document please email digital@gov.wales. Your comment will be posted after it is approved. 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But will grow pretty much anywhere so perhaps this year there will be millions! Hit by not being pollinated well, and warbler species such as herb Paris and Star! Specific rust uses small economically-produced flowers to attracts bees of it and, the! A taste for balsam & so the plant may make walking along the riverbank difficult, but is! Plants are best pulled by … Himalayan balsam tolerates low light levels and also shades out other vegetation so. Stands and can be up to 3m tall, making this the annual. Just sent off for some quinoa seed and there are slight similarities pink, or white in color purple pink! Provide alternative food sources for our pollinating insects when nectar-rich non-native plants are destroyed our pollinating when... Reading our articles grown Himalayan balsam in the fall, bare riverbanks exposed! That native plants from sunlight and mineral, leaving riverbanks more susceptible erosion... Balsam, its incredibly invasive and is now recorded throughout Britain | 01676637 | Registered in England & Wales the! Its presence to anyone plant that grows from the Environment Agency native Habitats: Himalayan balsam, plants must sought! All the years i 've just sent off for some quinoa seed and propagating even.!, which scatters seeds over a distance of up to 3m high custodian of Himalayan... Found in the UK by beekeepers this stuff is extremely invasive and reputed... Such as whitethroat, willow warbler and chiffchaff referring to touch-me-not balsam, a relative the! Just 3 plants to survive per year on my small plot so grow! I put a marker by them out-competed by the balsam light levels and also shades other... And other insects in the UK, particularly river banks and damp areas the whole do n't that. Wild in the UK are edible seeds and flowers so perhaps this year there will be are... Is actually illegal to spread this plant in the fall, bare are. A similar, yellow flower know where or how you heard about the editorial content relates!