Monday, August 17, 2015

Himalayan Balsam North Fife

Himalayan Balsam ,( Impatiens glandulifera ) 

Usually associated with river banks where it can grow in profusion. This little patch is by the roadside near Newburgh North Fife. Seeds were imported from India in 1839, now invasive and naturalized, distribution is discouraged. Each flower produces 100s of seeds which are propelled up to 4 meters away from the parent plant.

1 comment:

Zimmo said...

This beautiful flower is an "invasive species" imported from the Himalaya.
It is known also by its common name "Busy Lizzy" or "Mother of Thousands". The botanical name is "Impatiens" because it spreads its seeds by tightening the seed husk until the tension 'shoots' the seeds many feet away from the parent plant. If touched or wind-blown the seeds will spurt in all directions. If it meets water it will spread prolifically and these are currently spreading rapidly down the R. Tay. (you can see them on the island in Perth along with some other invasive species like Giant Hogsweed and Japanese Knotweed)
They are already all over L. Leven where the Nature Conservancy tried to repel them with weed-killer, then ignored them - and the old adage of "1 year of seeding = 7 years of weeding" but do organise regular "Balsam Bashing" trips to try to keep them down.
Apparently the flower heads can be made into jam.
Quite how these ones got to the side of the road is a mystery - perhaps dropped by birds.