Name: Himalayan Balsam
Scientific name: Impatiens glandulifera
Nature Stars: 20
About: This species is a bit of an alien - it's not native to the UK. It is fast growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat like riverside and ditches. 'Balsam Bashing' events are sometimes held to try and control its spread.
How to identify: Look for large pink flowers shaped like a bonnet from July to October, folled by hanging green seed pods in the autumn.
Where: Grows mostly in England and Wales and Northern Ireland with some scattered in Scotland and in Ireland
Fantastic fact: Also known as Indian Balsam, this plant is originally from the Himalayas. This has earned it the charming nickname of kiss-me-on-the-mountain in some parts of the UK!
Photograph credit: Les Binns