Join us for some Himalayan Balsam Bashing!
Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is an invasive non-native plant that has colonised some of the woodland stands in the Claypits. Balsam spreads exponentially – a single plant can produce 800 seeds disperse over 7m – and can outcompete many of our native species, tending towards monoculture. To control Balsam, we need to ‘bash’ the stems at least thrice yearly.
What is involved
Balsam Bashing involves cutting or pulling up the plant below the lowest root nodule before they can go to seed. If cutting, important to break the root so the Balsam can’t reseed.
What you need
Sturdy footwear (wellies or boots) and clothes you don’t mind roughing it up in.
We will provide the following:
- A yellow vest and gloves.
- Spades and secateurs to bash balsam
- Tea and refreshments
More on Balsam
Common: Himalayan balsam Latin name: Impatiens glandulifera Family: Balsaminaceae
Characteristics: ‘Low light tolerance. Large flowers producing a lot of nectar attractive to pollinators, which also helps it spread quickly. Flowers between June and October. Speed pods explosively dispersed. Primary dispersal is by humans spreading the seeds and along watercourses.’
- Leaves: long, pointed leaves with serrated edges, grow in pairs or whorls of three along stems.
- Stems: The stems may be green or a striking red, often a mixture of the two.
- Flowers: vary between white, pink and purple with five petals giving a hooded appearance.
- Fruit: capsules explode open, firing seeds in all directions.
Habitat: Riverbanks and wasteland, gardens and allotments