Invasive Species - Himalayan balsam

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by EDHSAmAbd
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Botany
Grade:
9

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Invasive Species - Himalayan balsam

The herb was originally from the Himalayas, as it says in the name. The first recorded find of it in Canada was in 1901. The plant came to Canada as an ornamental garden plant.

What does it look like?

The plant releases seeds into the river it grows by, these are carried to new locations for the plant to grow. The annual plant replacing others around a riverbank can lead to soil erosion.

Invasive Species:Himalayan Balsam

Where did Himalayan Balsam origiate?

Himalayan Balsam is usually found in southern British Columbia, specifically around Victoria and in the Fraser Valley. As well as in parts ofAlberta and Saskatchewan. The plant can usually be found in moist, high nutrient, soiled ecosystems, such as ditches, wetlands, and near running water.

Where in Canada is the species found?

The species reduced the overall biodiversity of the ecosystems, and suppresses growth of native plants by releasing as many as 800 seeds in a season. As a fertile nectar producer, it draws native pollinators from the native plants. The plant releases seeds into the river it grows by, these are carried to new locations for the plant to grow. The annual plant replacing others around a riverbank can lead to soil erosion.

What does the plant do to the ecosystem?

The plant is easy to pull out by hand, or mowed over. This must be done before the plant flowers. This needs to be done consecutively for 2-3 years. Cattle and sheep are able to digest this plant.You must be careful around riverbeds, as this may affect soil erosion.

The plant has shiny dark green leaves that grow in opposite, or whorls of three. The stem becomes sappy, brittle, hollow and jointed, with vertical grooves. From June to October the plant carries long stalks of purplish pink flowers. These flowers hold seed pods. The seeds are 4-7 mm in diameter, they can range from white to dark brown/black. There are 4-16 seeds per pod.

How to get rid of it.


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