illustration of planet Earth with clouds.
illustration of planet Saturn.

Himalayan balsam

Week 21
Year 2016
Elegant Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria elegans) by Björn S...
Image Credit: "How the Himalayan Balsam plants disperses it's seed" by lostinidaho on Imgur

Touch Me Not, is a fun nickname given to the Himalayan balsam. If the plant could decide it would probably prefer the name Touch Me Please, due to how they successfully disperse their seeds. When the seed pod is touched its stored potential energy is released, shooting the seeds with a range of about 15 feet. With each plant having up to 2,500 seeds this mechanism is a reason why this plant is such a problem in such places as the UK, where it is illegal to plant. Highly invasive, the Himalayan balsam chokes out other native plants, and is such a good pollinator that other plants get neglected.[1] In England and Wales you could be sent to prison for up to two years if you let this beautiful plant get out into the wild.[2]

Do you know any fun facts or tips?


[1]: Invasive Species: Himalayan Balsam. YouTube. November 02, 2015. Accessed June 06, 2016.

[2]: Prevent Harmful Weeds and Invasive Non-native Plants Spreading. Gov UK. September 23, 2014. Accessed June 06, 2016.