Scientific name: Impatiens glandulifera
Also known as: Police Helmets, Indian balsam, Jac y Neidiwr
• Himalayan balsam is an annual plant with bright purple-pink flowers.
• It is listed under schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 – it is an offence to plant or cause this species to grow in the wild.
• It was introduced as an ornamental plant in the early nineteenth century.
• It is found throughout Wales, and is most commonly found along waterways and in damp places.
• Mature seed pods explode when ripe, spreading seeds up to 7m from the parent plants. Seeds are also transported via water courses.
Himalayan balsam is an annual plant (it completes its lifecycle within one year), which grows to 2m tall with rough, reddish stems, shiny oval leaves about 15cm long with a red vein, and bright purple-pink flowers from June-September.
It produces seedpods which explode when ripe spreading the seeds up to 7m. It tends to form dense stands of plants that smother out other plants.
There is a wealth of information on the gov.wales site, please follow the link below to find out more.
(Information provided by gov.wales. Intellectual Property Office © Crown copyright 2015)