Himalayan balsam is an invasive herbaceous plant that was initially introduced to North America as a garden ornamental. This pink-flowered annual is similar in appearance to the native herb orange-flowered jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). Himalayan balsam is widely distributed across Ontario and can be found as far north as Thunder Bay and Dryden. It can grow upwards of 12 feet and quickly shades out more desirable native wildflowers below.
Himalayan balsam is closely related to the common garden ornamental flowers known of the genus Impatiens. As such they share the same “exploding” seed pods of these common garden herbs sometimes known as “touch-me-not’s”. Be sure to plan any control projects before this prolific seed producer’s seed reaches maturity near the end of the growing season.