Thank you Mike R for this information:
Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
I wonder if any other residents of Parwich have found this plant in their gardens. This year for the first time I have found an abundance of this weed in our gardens at Flaxdale. I have not been aware of it before now. It grows in height at an astonishing speed, about an inch a day.
Wikipedia describes it as follows… “It typically grows to 1 to 2 m (3.3 to 6.6 ft) high, with a soft green or red-tinged stem, and lanceolate leaves 5 to 23 cm (2.0 to 9.1 in) long. The crushed foliage has a strong musty smell. Below the leaf stems the plant has glands that produce a sticky, sweet-smelling, and edible nectar. The flowers are pink, with a hooded shape, 3 to 4 cm (1¼ to 1½ in) tall and 2 cm (¾ in) broad; the flower shape has been compared to a policeman’s helmet.
After flowering between June and October, the plant forms seed pods 2 to 3 cm (¾ to 1¼ in) long and 8 mm broad (¼ in), which explode when disturbed, scattering the seeds up to 7 metres (23 feet).” (see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impatiens_glandulifera )
It was highlighted as a nuisance on the East Midlands evening news recently. Whenever I see it in the garden I pull it up and compost it before the seed pods form.
I would be interested to know of anyone else’s experience with this invasive weed and whether I am doing the correct thing.
The above plant was photographed in a Creamery Lane garden this July. It went from less than a foot tall to full flower in just over three weeks. It is particularly problematic along water courses, where it’s rapid growth quickly smothers native plants.