London (change)
16 messages
16/06/2014 at 17:45


I have the same plant, possibly weed (!), that keeps appearing in my borders. It is quite fast growing and has a thick main stem. Pics attached. I've left them for now as I sowed some wild flower seeds in the borders in the spring and am wondering if it could be something from that pack. Is it a weed? Or if a plant, what is it and how big does it get? I may have to move them if they get too large. Thanks for your help

16/06/2014 at 17:58

i also have this! I think its willowherb?

16/06/2014 at 17:59

Looks like himalayan balsam to me.

Wait for a second opinion but if conformed I'd take it out. It's enormous, seeds everywhere and swamps everything else

16/06/2014 at 18:21

Its ready to flower soon, that will clinch it.

16/06/2014 at 18:37
Id say h balsam too, it is a bit of a weird colour tho. Isnt it classed as an invasive weed now?
16/06/2014 at 18:42

That is Himalyan balsam.  Pretty flowers but it shoots out it's seeds everywhere by twisting the seed pods.  Can be pulled out easy enough but make sure it doesn't get into the wild outside your garden.  

16/06/2014 at 18:43

Yes - Himalayan balsam - I lived next door to someone who grew a plant - it's all over the street now - it catapults it 's seeds with a sort of coiled spring contraption - they catapult them over high fences and walls.  Total nuisance 

16/06/2014 at 18:44

My first thought was himalayan balsam too.Is it in a wet patch or been flooded?

16/06/2014 at 18:46
Its soooo much fun to pop the seeds!
16/06/2014 at 18:57

Thanks for all your responses. I will take it out as soon as I can as it looks like it is about to flower and I wouldn't want to spread it around the neighbours!

16/06/2014 at 18:58

Good move elaych

16/06/2014 at 19:04

It's saving grace is that it's relatively shallow rooted and so is quite easy to hoick out 

17/06/2014 at 22:22

Impatiens balsamifera, pretty but invasive.

18/06/2014 at 07:12

As invasive species go, it's about the easiest to deal with. Very shallow-rooted annual, so simply pull it out with the root, give it a crush to break the stem and then put it somewhere to dry out. If you (and the neighbours, Dove!) do it now, and again in a month's time you should get rid of it in two summers. Whatever you do, don't let it flower and seed.

18/06/2014 at 07:16

We pulled it up every spring/summer for several years and then moved house!  

Next door's landlord covered it with landscaping fabric and a thick layer of shingle. !!!

18/06/2014 at 07:44
Its hard to believe that a plant with such pretty flowers could be such a pain!
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