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Himalayan Balsam everywhere....



I've been walking in Sheba wood a few times recently, and there is one feature of Sheba wood that you really cannot miss.  The Himalayan Balsam.  It's a very robust and invasive non-native weed with a strong, musky scent.  I don't like the smell, myself, and you can smell it from quite a distance at this time of year, although the flowers are quite pretty in their way.

It's reputed to be a good bee plant, but it's so tall and strong that it's hard for other plants to compete with it.   It can grow taller than your head in the sunny stream-side places that it likes best.  But    In the photo below, it's spreading up a steep slope, and doesn't seem greatly worried by it....



Normally I try to be careful not to spread Himalayan Balsam any further than it has spread already, but in Sheba wood it's everywhere and there is nothing to be done.  You can't avoid being part of its bid to take over the world - because Himalayan Balsam spreads explosively, and all it needs to do that is a ripe pod and some kind of movement.

You brush past a ripe seedpod, and it EXPLODES! Sending fat shiny black seeds flying in all directions.   It's quite disconcerting if you accidentally brush a pod with your face.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
ylla
10th Oct, 2016 09:37 (UTC)
The first picture looks a bit ghostly - or Fire-and-Hemlock-y!

And Ruggie has the most amazing tail.

I have no sensible comments on Himlayan Balsam, I'm afraid - I think it's all Japanese Knotweed for us. I like listening to gorse bushes go pop, but they don't do it in your face.
bunn
11th Oct, 2016 07:44 (UTC)
His tail collects grass seeds like nobody's business! Fortunately it doesn't seem to have a tendency to get matted.

Popping the Himalayan Balsam with fingers is a guilty pleasure. It's like firing a party popper!
chainmailmaiden
10th Oct, 2016 17:15 (UTC)
I remember swathes of the stuff in the Lakes, it does look pretty, but it completely takes over.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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