FAQ – Is Himalayan balsam a problem in mainland Europe?

Yes. Himalayan balsam is present in 27 European countries. It is widespread in 18 of them and invasive in 12. In the Czech Republic, Himalayan balsam occupies approximately 56% of the total river length and at the current rate of spread, it is estimated that all main rivers would be completely invaded by 2025. In Poland, Himalayan balsam was introduced to a small area around 1890 and has since spread to almost all regions of the country. As in the UK, Himalayan balsam is regarded as one of the top 20 invasive alien plant here. In Lithuania and Latvia, Himalayan balsam has spread rapidly since its introduction, invading riverbanks of large, main rivers and their tributaries.