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I have something in my garden [i hate to call it a weed]. it is more than 2m tall,has 2in thick, hollow stems. the flowers are like small pink orchids which bloom from may till september, and grows in a wild part of the garden in semi shade on top of black plastic i have put down to get rid of ground elder. any ideas?
Picture would help
Could it be Himalyan Balsam? It has pretty pink or lilac flowers and hollow stems and it grows in wild and shady places. It can be an absolute pest and seeds itself, but it's quite easy to pull up. In France people grow it in dry areas where it's pretty and doesn't grow too tall, but England is wetter and the English tend to hate it! You haven't sent a photo but if you google Himalayan Balsam you could see if that's it.
I wouldn't want it in my garden ! Have a look at this picture. I also thought it was some kind of orchid.
many thanks busy lizzie & jean riley. you both got it in one, it has to go, but i still like the flowers.
Himalayan Balsam - nasty pernicious stuff - our neighbour planted a couple of seeds - within 3 years the entire street was over-run with the stuff - then he moved - we moved shortly afterwards http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=480
This got me looking up varieties of impatiens. In fact the one I've seen in French gardens isn't Himalayan Balsam - it's Kashmir Balsam or Impatiens Balfourii, which is smaller and not so invasive. Busy Lizzies are the small ones. They are all members of the Impatiens family.
I had this plant in my garden years ago. As you say the plant & flowers are beautiful but such a pest. The seed pods explode when ready & the seeds reach a very long way. Yes easy to pull up seedlings but you'll find it's a whole carpet of them.