BBY020 :: Impatiens glandulifera

Known by many names: policeman’s helmet, bobby tops, copper tops, gnome’s hatstand, Himalayan or Indian balsam, poor man’s orchid.

Impatiens glandulifera is a very voracious invasive plant, taking over areas in fields and wetlands. There are programs around Burnaby Lake Park and in Metro Vancouver which enlist volunteers to help eliminate some of these plants. Check out these links to learn more about the local invasive species and the action these groups are taking:

https://iscmv.ca/programs/burnaby-stewardship https://bcinvasives.ca/invasives/himalayan-balsam/

Although it’s such a pest, these plants produce lovely flowers which are enjoyed by so many bees. It has juicy red stems and pink or white flowers on each separate stalk. Later in the season the plants release seeds by explosive dispersal.

Art by Nelson Spies, October 10, 2022. Acrylic on canvas panel. Specimen recorded July 24, 2020, 19:09 about 30 metres east of Deer Lake Brook.

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