London (change)
13 messages
17/08/2012 at 08:13

My friend and I discovered this pretty plant growing in a little patch of soil at the side of her cafe. I have no idea what it is but the flower is not unlike a bellflower / orchid - pale pink with a little spur at the back and a spotty throat. With her permission it is now in a pot in my garden. Could any tell me what it is please?

Thanks, Jean.


17/08/2012 at 08:36
Looks like one of impatiens imports, Indian balsam. Which is very invasive, it's seeds shoot out like projectiles, and is a pest especially by waterways. Pretty though.
17/08/2012 at 08:38

oh dear, unless I'm mistaken, it looks like himalayan balsam .  absolute pest as can spread like wildfire, the seed pods shoot for about 12 foot, dispersing the seeds far and wide

17/08/2012 at 08:39

AAARGH!!! Himalyan Balsam!!! Very pretty, bees love it, but one of the most invasive species in the UK, doing untold damage to river banks and the natural flora in a lot of areas .  It  it seeds prolifically and catapults it's seeds across wide areas, which is how it got where you found it -  I'd bag it and bin it if I were you!!!  At our last house a tenant next door planted one (to remind him of his trips to India)  within two years his entire back garden was covered, we spent every spring pulling up sprouting seedlings (and there was a 6 foot fence between us) and so did every garden up and down our side of the street.  He moved out - the landlord struggled to get rid of it and eventually gave up and laid a heavy duty membrane and shingled the entire back garden!!!

We moved away!

17/08/2012 at 08:47

Shine a light !!! I thought I'd discovered a rare kind of botanical mystery ! Just be on Wiki page on you are all right - I'm off to fetch a binbag.

Thanks to all for your swift replies - good job it's only still in a pot .

17/08/2012 at 09:57

OH also thought it was orchid related! Non gardener. Does look really good in pics though. On our walk last w/end it was EVERYWHERE in various shades of white through to rich pink & growing well in both sun & shade. If you didnt know about its' thug tendencies you could understand the plant hunters who first brought it here. J.

17/08/2012 at 10:07

It is fun to lightly touch a seedpod and watch the explosion - just once or twice!!!

17/08/2012 at 10:08

Oh no - just been reading on Doves' link I could have civil action taken against me if it gets into ajoining gardens ! Hope no-one saw me bring it in .

17/08/2012 at 10:15

I won't tell if you don't 

17/08/2012 at 10:20

Hehe ! Hope the plant police don't read this !

31/08/2012 at 16:28

I grow it in my garden because,as said before the buzzy bees go blummin mad for it and bees is what we need !

If you keep it,just make sure as soon as you see the seedlings popping up in the spring  ,be sure to pull up the ones you dont want (easy to spot because they have a red stem and make your hands stink when you pull them!) and keep pulling them well into the summer or they really will take over the whole street.

01/09/2012 at 07:30

Hope you have a very large garden indeed and that it can't catapult it's seeds over your fence 

02/09/2012 at 08:52

seeds are edible and have anutty flavour. I harvest them and use in fruit loaf.

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13 messages