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Himalayan Balsam

Impatiens glandulifera

Plant Data

Order:
Ericales
Family:
Balsaminaceae (Balsam)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
Pink-purple to white.
Fruit:
The seed pods explode spectacularly and unexpectedly upon reaching maturity. Each pod contains many seeds and individual seeds can be projected as far as 5 meters away. This plant is notorious for being very invasive and hard to eradicate.
Leaves:
Green elliptical leaves with serrated margins. Up to 8cm in length. The toothed edges are red in colour.
Maximum Size:
2 meters tall.
Foraging Notes:
Seed pods can be cooked and eaten whole when young, often used in stir-fries or used to make curries. The seeds can be eaten raw and taste nutty.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Aroma:
Fragrant.
Other Names:
Bee-bums, Bobby Tops, Copper Tops, Custodian Helmet, Gnome's Hatstand, Indian Balsam, Indian Jewelweed, Indian Touch-me-not, Jewelhead, Jumping Jack, Kiss-me-on-the-mountain, Ornamental Jewelweed, Pink Peril, Policeman's Helmet, Poor Man's Orchid, Purple Jewelweed, Washington Orchid.
Habitats:
Riverbanks, woodland.