Despite successfully campaigning for five of the worst offenders to be banned from sale in the UK, many other non-native, invasive plants are still at large. Here Plantlife outlines the 12 worst offenders (including Himalayan balsam) that are causing the most damage to the countryside and our native species.
Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) promotes soil erosion along watercourses, according to research published in the Journal of Soil Sediments last month (Dec 2013)
Philip Greenwood and Nikolaus Kuhn from the University of Basel show that erosion along riparian zones is statistically greater where Himalayan balsam is present when compared to topographically comparable sites that support natural vegetation.
Volunteers from RINSE (Reducing the Impact of Non-Native Species in Europe) performed a survey of the River Bure (in the Norfolk Broads), tracking it from source to sea and seeing how many invasive plants such as Himalayan balsam they cam across.
See their website for more information and a map of their results.