Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam or Touch-me-not).
Other Scientific Names: Impatiens roylei.
Other Common Names: Himalayan balsam, Ornamental jewelweed.
Origin: India and the western Himalaya.
Growth Form/Reproduction: Annual. Seeds; plants have explosive seed capsules.
Legal Status: Community Charters Act.
Agricultural: Grazed by cattle and sheep.
Ecological: Himalayan balsam dominates vegetation of watercourses because of its tall stature (3 m), rapid growth and high seed production and dispersal. It exposes soils of stream banks to erosion once it dies back in autumn; the week root system is inadequate to protect against high winter flows.
Human: Landscape ornamental.
Habitat: Partially shade tolerant. Tolerates a wide range of soil condition; requires high soil moisture. Grows from low- to mid-elevations; cold temperatures may limit distribution. Disturbed sites, roadsides, riparian areas, streambanks, and meadows.
Status and Distribution: Present in all CIPC Regional Districts; common in Comox Valley, limited in other districts. Most common in CWHxm but also reported in CDFmm and CWHvm.
Management Strategy: Eradicate or contain plants to present sites. Policeman’s helmet has a shallow root system and can be easily pulled. Effective control of this plant depends on controlling seed production since seeds are catapulted through the air great distances and the buoyant seeds travel easily along watercourses. Mowing or pulling should be done before seeds appear and treatments should begin upstream. Repeated treatments are required the following year since in-ground seeds remain viable. Intensive grazing may provide efficient control but riparian areas may be damaged. No biological controls are available and chemical control.