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Is Himalayan Balsam a weed ?

(8 Posts)
LIZS Fri 07-Aug-09 16:05:09

We seem to have a bush suddenly shoot up, over 2m tall and flowering. Think it has self seeded form next door. Is it a weed and how do we get rid please.

BigGobMum Fri 07-Aug-09 16:08:09

Is it that stuff with purple flowers on it?

Threadworm Fri 07-Aug-09 16:10:49

Yes, it is a vile highly invasive weed that is trampling over the countryside where we live. It is an annual plant, so it should be enough to destroy the plants before they set seed.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 07-Aug-09 16:11:04

Its a weed if you don't want it and a flower if you do. Purple flowers and a distinctive somewhat unpleasant smell. Quite pretty though.

In most contexts (ie riverbanks) its an invasive non-native weed. The sort of thing you get volunteers in to do 'balsam bashing' to try to control it. I've not ever done this so don't know exactly what it entails.
I'd dig it up by its roots or glyphosate it.

BigGobMum Fri 07-Aug-09 16:12:54

We live near a beautiful little dene and this stuff has completely taken over the last couple of years. It seems to be worse than bracken.

LIZS Fri 07-Aug-09 16:56:54

It 's got pale flowers with a purplish tinge. Next door were very proud of theirs hmm

Threadworm Fri 07-Aug-09 17:53:24

The seedheads are fun: when ripe they catapault seeds when you brush against them.

The only other good thing about the plants is that they are fun to slaughter. I regularly take my two sons out balsam-slaying. You can slice them en masse with a long stick and a scything action. My bloodthirsty sapthirsty children enjoy being licenced to kill -- it makes a change from the normal requirement of gentle respect for wildlife.

LIZS Thu 22-Oct-09 20:00:39

Our neighbours the other side , who are in horticulture, advised us to dig it out as it is a notifiable weed and spreads rapidly (they certainly didn't want it self seeding in their garden !). So we've got shot of it.

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