bunn (bunn) wrote,

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.
Tags: plants, tamar valley, walks

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