Saturday, July 25, 2009

Impatiens glandulifera in bloom

Warning: this is a very invasive plant in Toronto [Photo: Impatiens glandulifera in bloom.]Impatiens glandulifera, known in English as "Himalayan balsam", "purple jewelweed", "policeman's helmet", "kiss-me-on-the-mountain", "ornamental jewelweed", "Washington orchid", or "Indian balsam" and in French as balsamine de l'Himalaya or impatiente de l'Himalaya, is an annual native to the Himalayas but now an invasive weed in North America, Europe, and New Zealand. The Society for Ecological Restoration ranks Himalayan balsam as a Category 1 invasive (PDF):
Aggressive invasive exotic species that can dominate a site to exclude all other species and remain dominant on the site indefinitely. These are a threat to natural areas wherever they occur because they can reproduce by means that allow them to move long distances.

So although it is very pretty, please do not plant this in your garden, and pull it up if it volunteers.

I photographed this plant in High Park.

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