Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) has rapidly become one of the UK’s most invasive weed species, colonising river banks, waste ground and damp woodlands. It successfully competes with native plant species for space, light, nutrients and pollinators and excludes other plant growth, thereby reducing native biodiversity. As an annual, Himalayan balsam dies back in the winter, and where the plant grows near water it can cause flooding and erosion.
Last year, I noticed some plants on nearby waste ground which is at least 200 metres from home but this morning I found one in my flower border! It is only about 1 metre high but in full flower so I am about to remove all traces of it before it has a chance to set seed! Pity it is such a thug, it is quite pretty! The hooded flowers remind me of an ancient military helmet and it is one plant that would be guaranteed to grow in the most difficult areas of the garden!