FAQ – Why has Himalayan balsam become such a problem?

Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is a highly invasive annual species. It has spread rapidly throughout the UK since its introduction as a garden ornamental in 1839. Himalayan balsam is predominately a weed of riparian habitats, often forming dense monocultures that can out-compete native plant species and their associated invertebrate fauna.

Land managers regularly give up when faced with controlling Himalayan balsam over a large area due to the inaccessible places where the plant often grows.