Himalayan Balsam


Latin name

  • Impatiens glandulifera

What’s the problem?

  • Legal implications
  • Invasive non-native species
  • Rapidity of growth and spread
  • Explosive seed pods
  • Erosion on river banks

What are the legal implications of Himalayan Balsam?

  • Possible fine or prison sentence
  • You must not allow Himalayan balsam to spread onto adjacent land – the owner of that land could take legal action against you
  • You must not allow or encourage the spread of Himalayan balsam – this includes moving contaminated soil from one place to another or incorrectly handling and transporting contaminated material and cuttings
  • You do not need to notify anyone
  • You are not obliged to remove or treat on your own land

In Detail

Identification of Himalayan Balsam:

  • Reddish coloured stems
  • Common on river banks
  • Dark green lance-shaped leaves with jagged edges
  • Large, brightly coloured flowers usually in variable shades of purple and pink
  • Flowers June to October
  • Grows up to 2m height
  • Dies back at end of growing season
  • Produces 2500 seeds per plant each year
  • Explosive seed pods

Himalayan balsam plants can produce around 2500 seeds each year. The seedpods open in such a way that the seeds are thrown several metres away from the parent plant, helping the species to rapidly spread – often quoted as 20 metres in all directions per season.

Seeds can also be transported by:

  • Water – if parent plant is close to river or stream;
  • Movements of contaminated soil;
  • Fishermen/walkers picking up seeds on footwear.

If you have concerns over Himalayan balsam on your land, if you are unsure of your legal responsibilities, or, if you would like a quotation for control, please contact one of our specialist surveyors. Treatment costs start at £380.00 + VAT.