this plant was seen growing in someone's yard with more small plants nearby
- grows in moist conditions and is commonly found along river banks, stream beds and creeks
- stems are red in colour
- leaves are dark green and lance shaped with jagged edges
- flowers are shaped somewhat like a snapdragon and vary in colour from pink to purple and sometimes white
- flowers summer through fall from June to October
- can grow up to 2 metres high and sometimes 3 metres high (though rarely)
- Himalayan Balsam is an annual
- each plant produces between 700-800 seeds
- seed pods are explosive and can throw seeds over 6 metres away from the original plant.
In the city of Edmonton, Himalayan Balsam is listed as an invasive weed. Growing it on private property is prohibited. Though, I don't believe that it is yet common knowledge. (Case in point, the above photo) So, I am doing my part in getting the word out.
Species/ Impatiens glandulifera
Common Names/ Policeman’s Helmet, Indian Balsam
Sometimes known as Himalayan Impatiens