Himalayan BalsamView or download sightings meta-data
Himalayan balsam is a very tall (2−3 m or 6−10 ft) annual plant, often bearing pink/purple flowers that are particularly attractive for bees. Often found in and/or near rivers and disturbed ground (e.g. railway tracks), mature plants have long, tapering leaves that have a serrated edge. Stems are hollow, taping from a wide base to thin stems, bearing the flowers. The stem develops from an unusual root system, the roots of which bear a resemblance to tentacles, grasping the ground below.
Himalayan balsam grows in large patches, that rapidly encroach into other habitats. Himalayan balsam is able to do this because they produce a huge number of seeds (a large plant may produce over 800) and explosive seed capsules spray these seeds up to 7 m from the parent plant.
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