By GracieG

A Pesky Beauty

I walked in Pretty Corner Woods with A this morning.  Not much to photograph in the woods, but I'm sure my camera enjoyed the walk. 

When we got back to the car park I spotted this beautiful plant.  It is Himalyan Balsam and as I'm sure you know it's a flippin' pest, especially along the UK's waterways.  Its seed pods explode open when ripe and can shoot seeds up to seven metres away – with each plant able to produce around 800 seeds, so it quickly dominates certain areas.
It doesn’t need much light itself and will grow in a wide range of habitats. It tends to shade out other plants and when it dies back in autumn its destructive legacy lives on; as it leaves waterway banks vulnerable to erosion.
It is actually quite easy to control, using a method called balsam bashing. This basically means pulling the shallow rooted plant up before it flowers in June. This can eradicate the plant from an area within a few years.
Not something I'll be planting in my garden anytime soon!

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