Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Touch-me-not, Himalayan Balsam and Jewelweed

In this selfie, it is taller than I am (5'4")!
This invasive species nestles amongst my hops plant.
Yet another invasive species. Who knew?
Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) looks like Ontario’s native Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis),  except that it is enormous! They are related species, but the Ontario version has yellow-orange flowers.

You can spot the Himalayan Balsam, as it grows very large. Like many invasive species, they overwhelm native plants, crowding out those who belong here, reducing biodiversity and the ecological value of land. Fortunately, unlike some of my other riparian plants, it isn't poisonous.

Those who warn us of it, claim that it has nectar that draws pollinators away from native species. I'm not sure how true that is, since birds and bees seem to visit a variety of species, rather than depending upon only one.
Native Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
in our wetland

It likes riversides, although Ontario gardeners are growing it in gardens, as you can see from mine.
Mine is snuggled in between my Hop bines. I imagine a previous owner, all three seemed to be avid gardeners, actually made his own beer! I find it an interesting bine, Hops, as it climbs all summer, then the entire vine dies.

Himalayan Balsam

Hops climb the trellises, with the
Balsam in the middle.
This was early summer.
It is called an annual herb, and while native to
By mid-summer
the HB is over 6'.
the Western Himalayas, in the early 1800s it was spread, as these things are, to Europe, New Zealand, and North America by gardeners. 

It's common name, Touch-me-not, derives from the way the mature seed pods explode when you touch it. It sends the seeds flying up to 5m (~5 yards) from the parent plant, producing up to 800 seeds per plant.

It is easy to get rid of the plant, as its roots are very shallow. I'm not sure how it survives, standing as tall as it does!
Himalyan Balsam, pretty pink flowers

Large plants in this garden



Annual management is required and repeat treatments must be completed. It is also important to properly dispose of plant materials through municipal landfill or incineration.

• Report sightings to the Invading Species Hotline  1-800-563-7711 or report a sighting online

Downloads from Ontario Invasive Species site

Distinct seedlings
sprout in Spring

It is starting to grow in the middle,
surrounded by my Hops bine plants.

Gardeners love these flowers!


Nancy J said...

Lovely tall plants, and the hops, super plants, and so useful if you are into home brewing. Cheers,Jean.

DeniseinVA said...

This makes for a fascinating read. Right now I am trying to put more native plants and flowers in my garden, also those to attract bees and butterflies.

Debbie said...

I know nothing about beer the over grown plant a problem?? Or a good thing!! I think the gardens are colorful and lovely!!

eileeninmd said...

Your plants are doing well, growing very tall!

William Kendall said...

It certainly is pretty!

I'm six feet tall, so it looks like they'd be around my height or a bit more.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
is there any part of the globe which has not been invaded by foreign species? Here in the UK there is a move to classify rhododendron as a noxious weed...such a beautiful conqueror! YAM xx

Hilary said...

Plus.. they're fun to pop when the seed pods are plump!