Ensure all stems are completely severed below the lowest node or joint. I first came across the reference in Sir George Watt’s six volume ‘A Dictionary of Economic Products of India’ 1889-1896. There are 4-16 seeds per pod and each plant can produce 800 seeds. As you can see, himalayan balsam can achieve quite a height (3 m) allowing it to disperse its seed by exploding seed pods. Its explosive seed pods aid its spread by sending the seeds into the river, causing further dispersal downstream. Himalayan Balsam is a tasty plant commonly eaten as curry in its native Northern India. Posted December 12, 2020. However the amount needed in a salad by no means corresponded with the amount available – I clearly needed a use for it in bulk. Propagating Balsam Flowers . Believe me narf – you do not want this weed in Australia -you have enough problem species as it is. We have 4 dogs, the balsam literally eat the dog droppings in about a day, with no smell left. In the UK armies of volunteers spend thousands of hours destroying this weed. What is the problem with Balsam? Dreams of the Med in frozen north, Return of the Good Life: the new craze for front garden allotments, Ron Finley at MAD4: “Save Your Food Save Your Life” – YouTube, How to Harvest Your Own Seeds from Fruit and Vegetables for Propagation into Nursery – The Permaculture Research Institute. In areas with a high density of plants, strimming or cutting are effective control measures, but all stems must be completely severed below the lowest node (or joint). Your email address will not be published. This eruption catapults the seeds inside in all directions, spreading the Balsam invasion even further next year. Regards to you and yours, Maggie. You probably won’t find transplants of balsam sold at the nursery, but you can start this forgiving annual from seed. Every plant has dozens of pods which contain an average of 800 seeds, so a thicket of Himalayan Balsam can contain up to 30,000 of these tiny bullets just waiting to take root. cocoa beans, coffee beans, teas could also be mentioned in this context, but are all very different in nature. I didn’t know you could eat the seeds though, we also have Nigella which are also invasive in the sense that they grow anywhere. Himalayan balsam is an annual plant that is propegated by seed (each plant can produce 800 seeds). Hi and thanks a lot for sharing this useful info in English! I would love to hear from you on the similiarities of jewel weed and himalayan balsan. It is fast-growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat at the expense of other, native flowers. It was introduced to Kew Gardens in 1839 and is thought to have mainly been spread by people passing seeds … In Articles. Himalayan balsam was introduced as a garden plant in 1839, but soon escaped and became widely naturalised along riverbanks and ditches, especially close to towns. Home / Articles / himalayan balsam seeds. According to my studies over the last ten years, balsam is, without doubt, the most important riverbank plant for bumble bees, honey bees, wasps, hoverflies and more than 50 species of other flies. I came across a German man called Peter Becker who it seems shares some of my passion for eating invasive species. To see how to make a curry from them, try Eat Weeds. By foraging for this free food you can help your budget and the environment. The flowers can also be used to make floral jams and jellies or added to salads. Himalayan Balsam is naturally found in Asia in the mountains of the Himalayas and bought back to the UK by the Victorians. Hi Dave, heard chap today on the radio say that HB seed was edible, googled to make sure he wasn’t a nutter before I tried it, and it went straight to your site. Mechanical control, by repeated cutting or mowing, is effective for large stands, but plants can regrow if the lower parts are left intact. When collecting the seeds, you need not be too particular in removing all bits of the seed pods that you collect with them as the pods are edible. I found a recipe for Rose petal preserve and adapted it a little for the balsam. Himalayan Balsam is a tasty plant commonly eaten as curry in its native Northern India. This plant is the least harmful of our three main invasive species. It self-sows vigorously, and takes over any area where it seeds, driving out native plants. Could they be used for this since the physical make up is so similar? Seed can survive in the soil for up to 3 years so annual treatment will be required, and monitoring for a further 2 years to ensure eradication. An excellent tutorial. If you grind them up in a coffee grinder they make a very tasty nut burger. Thanks for giving us something to try with the flowers themselves. Himalayan balsam flowers from June to October. By foraging for this free food you can help your budget and the environment. Amongst other things he had found some edible uses for Himalayan Balsam, a plant which is choking out a lot of the native plants along river banks in Bristol. Himalayan balsam ( Impatiens glandulifera ) is a relative of the busy Lizzie, but reaches well over head height, and is a major weed problem, especially on riverbanks and waste land, but can also invade gardens. we are already using a lot of other bland tasting plant-parts with an interesting texture, but is perhaps not aware of it? This is what causes erosion – not Himalayan Balsam. himalayan balsam seeds. It spreads through local seed dispersal. Generally, Himalayan balsam grows to just over 2 metres tall and can be seen flowering in the middle and end of summer. Good to know every seed you eat is one less of the purple river monsters. The seeds sprout in as little as four days in moist soil at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I emailed him and received this reply – “Impatients glandulifera is slightly toxic in all parts but the flowers and seeds; both of which can even be consumed raw. Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glanulifera) is an attractive looking flower, with a stout, hollow stem, trumpet shaped pink/white flowers and elliptical shaped green leaves. Collect the flowers once they appear in the summer and the seeds in Autumn, August/September. I think of Capers and olives as very popular options. If we care to process a little, I think many plants that are otherwise considered useless can be used with great success in the kitchen! I just dry roasted a few and found they were quite walnutty, very nice. It is believed that Himalayan balsam seeds remain viable for up to two years. Strimming and mowing of Himalayan balsam may also be … Article written by Dave Hamilton. By mid-July there was a lot more of the plant in flower and so again I set to work. • Re: Using recycled plastic, (you can use 2tbs of one or the other or use fresh orange juice or squeezy lemon), Cut away all but the petals of the balsam, Boil the juice, sugar and water to make a syrup, Add the petals and cook on the lowest heat for about half an hour stirring all the time, Strain through a fine sieve (the contents of the sieve can be separated out on a plate and eaten like sweets), Pot in heat sterilized jars (jars and lids that have been boiled and are still warm). From experimenting I found the flower was rather bland but mixed in with a little dressing and some more flavoursome leaves it made an attractive addition to a salad. I waited a couple of weeks and in early July I set to work harvesting the flowers and bashing the plant as I went. Immature seed pods (before they reach the 'explosive' stage) are edible whole, and can be cooked like radish pods or mangetout (snow peas) and used in stir-fries and curries. Where it is found in Wales Himalayan balsam is found across Wales most commonly along waterways and in damp places. “Impatients glandulifera is slightly toxic in all parts but the flowers and seeds; both of which can even be consumed raw. I wish we had weeds like these in Australia! Himalayan Balsam - Free food. Maybe you have a Triffid . It is pollinated by bumble-bees. Control of invasive non-native species - Himalayan balsam Eradication may be possible in two to three years unless your site is being colonised by seeds from further upstream. They are supposed to be related to a wild species here called Jewel weed, which is supposed to CURE the effects of poison ivy. Touching the seeds through the bag will make the seeds explode into it. Im Danish and have stumbled across this incredible plant for the first time and my German is really rusty . Seeds can be eaten whole, toasted and ground to make flour, crushed and used as a spice or substituted in any recipe that calls for hazelnuts. I emailed him and received this reply –. The more seeds we eat, the fewer seeds there will remain to spread this plant. I mean symptoms, level of toxicity, how to remove, etc.. Is there any info available perhaps? How to treat Himalayan balsam. It is fast-growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat at the expense of other, native flowers. Please do not sow seeds of Himalayan Balsam, its incredibly invasive and will smother out native plants! Himalayan Balsam by Rob Sproule . Q6: Why is Himalayan balsam an invasive species? Himalayan Balsam is, as the name suggests, native to India, more specifically to the Himalayas. It is also commonly referred to as Indian Balsam. This attractive annual plant was introduced to Ireland from the Himalayas and has since become a very invasive weed. Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds per year. The young shoots and stems are edible, when cooked, but care should be taken as they contain high concentrations of calcium oxalate (which is broken down and leached out on cooking) but it is recommended that they are not consumed too frequently. But what can I do? I can’t remember which part but I do believe its the juice from the stems. It’s now July 2010, I’ve since tried the seeds – they have a walnut like taste and are very versatile. The seeds themselves can be eaten raw and have a nutty taste that is variously described as being like hazelnuts or walnuts. Never heard of a plant eating poo that quickly! According to the USDA, sunflower seeds are “the richest source of vitamin E.” Aside from salad toppings, you can add sunflower seeds to muffins or bread recipes, in vegetable dishes or stir-fry, into trail mixes, and in cereals or yogurt. Cornish trials have shown that Himalayan Balsam seeds only remain viable in the soil for 1 year. By . If the Himalayan Balsam is near a water-course the use of chemical control may be impossible. Himalayan balsam is a hardy weed, which can flourish in even low levels of light, with explosive seed pods, dispersing up to 800 seeds up to 20 feet away, the weed can spread fast and kill off all surrounding vegetation. )and she loved the beautiful colours, right next to her apple orchard! This plant is the least harmful of our three main invasive species. After finding out that Japanese Knotweed was edible (use the young shoots as you would rhubarb) I began a quest to find out what other invasive weeds could end up on the dinner plate. Bees adore it and we can eat it but when it gets to be too abundant it crowds out our natives. Copyright © 2020 | MH Magazine WordPress Theme by MH Themes, Sunny day! The colour is so vivid that I would use it to colour jellies, jams and cordials. Re: Do goats eat Himalayan balsam? It is mostly found in riparian areas, especially river edges and wetlands. Himalayan balsam can completely cover an area and crowd out native vegetation. In the UK we have Impatiens glandulifera or Himalayan Balsam whereas in the US and Canada it seems you have Impatiens biflora and Impatiens pallida or jewel weed. The entire seed population germinates synchronously in spring to form a dense stand. This was late June and from observing the plant near my house I knew it was soon to flower. We have a nice contained area for them and keep them in check as they do spread, fortuanately they are easy to pull. It could also be used as a topping for trifles or other deserts. They are useful for substituting in cakes instead of nuts for those with nut allergies and ground himalayan balsam seeds can be substituted for ground almonds. It is becoming more widespread and County Galway particularly in damp habitats such as river banks and wet grasslands. Yet even the young stems are edible after being blanched in a change of water and yield a crispy vegetable; that although it doesn`t have much flavor is a wonderful addition with much plate appeal to stirfries or pickles. The shallow roots of Himalayan Balsam make it easy just to pull it straight out the ground. Himalayan Balsam was added to Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in April 2009 in Wales and England. Hello Anita, Both Jewel weed and Himalayan Balsam are closely related, they are of the Impatiens genus so as related as Broccoli and Cabbage. Bees are also attracted to the flowers and can spread the seeds widely. When I see Himalayan Impatiens, the noxious weed that’s usually planted deliberately in Alberta yards, I think of those double agents and how alluring they can be. It has an explosive seed capsule, which scatters seeds over a distance of up to 7m. Wild food in May – Late Spring Foraging – Food for free in May – Andy Hamilton, Alien Invaders: Did Darwin get it wrong then? Each seed has a viability of 18 months. Chemical control - you must only spray during the growing season when there is green leafy material present and most of … It’s important to time your Himalayan balsam control so you don’t inadvertently spread more seeds. These can be ejected up to 7 metres from the parent plant and can be spread far and wide in streams and rivers. The seeds have a chilling requirement for germination to occur. | mentalmapping, A slow winning battle « One foot in Wales, The ish Local - (Chat) • What's a Self Sufficient Christmas, The ish Local - (Chat) • Re: Codewords puzzles, The ish Local - (Chat) • Codewords puzzles, But what can I do? Both unripe cream coloured seeds and the dark brown/black ripe seeds are edible. There’s an American forager called Steve Brill who eats the seeds of jewel weed just as I do with Balsam. I found I could pull up the plant root and all quite easily so I yanked on each plant as I removed the flower. Thanks for the information, and yes of course we are very careful with these however they are everywhere in Ontario, my grandmother had them growing against her barn (maybe they ate the cow poo? Strimming or cutting is an effective control. It is also commonly referred to as Indian Balsam. They both needs to be cured and treated to have any interesting culinary appeal and yet they popularity is evident. Collect the seeds by covering the whole seed head with flowers and all in a bag. Manual – As Himalayan balsam is a shallow rooted plant it can be easily uprooted by hand. I found it also made a bonus by-product of Balsam sweets! It makes a clear pink preserve which is incredibly sweet. Just DON'T plant them! I use the jar as a sweet spread and put it on ice-cream. This recipe makes one jar but scale up if you’ve found a good source of the plant and don’t forget to bash the balsam as you pick! It produces thousands of seeds in explosive seed pods, so it can spread very quickly. I`m preparing Jelly and brewing Vinegar with the flowers and Marzipan from the seeds. Himalayan balsam is an annual, so the big problem is the seeds, not the plant itself. We balsam bash before the plant flowers to prevent seeding, but once it flowers, the seeds will develop even if you pull it up. Like other balsam flowers, the plant reproduces by seed, and it will put out up to 800 of them every year.These seeds can travel a short distance through the air or miles and miles if they get caught up in a river or stream. A wonderful web site for lots of recipe ideas can be found at Celtnet. And once growing, Himalayan balsam can proliferate at a fearsome rate. They are excellent baked in cakes, breads and biscuits and make a welcome addition to soup, stews and curries. By growing to such a height and exploding it can disperse its seeds maybe 3-5 m from the original plant, which can cast into the river and carried on by the flow. It is mainly found along rivers, however can also appear in gardens, whether planted or not. Each Himalayan Balsam plant can produce up to 800 seeds. When the seeds are ready, the Himalayan balsam's seed pods explode violently, dispersing over 800 seeds per plant, no wonder we have such a rapidly expanding problem! • Re: Self Sufficient 2021. Therefore, if effective control is carried out before seeding, complete eradication can be achieved in one season. The seeds are also edible and I have successfully made into a nut burgers using a recipe for sunflower seed burgers. Try crushed sunflower seeds … I love these plants, and contrary to what I am hearing they don’t take the bees away from the other 100 or so other species we have in our garden. I love spy movies, ones like James Bond where the cars are fast, the suits expensive and you never know which beautiful woman you can trust. The more seeds we eat, the fewer seeds there will remain to spread this plant. Btw. himalayan balsam seeds. shares some of my passion for eating invasive species. And since Bachflower # 19 is renowned for it`s calming effects; we who bash Himalyan Balsam with Fork & Knife get rewarded with the nutritional benefits of this wonderful plant.”. « Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014, 11:40:54 pm » We pull ours and burn it before it seeds ,don't think I would risk the goats with it though Himalayan Balsam ( Impatiens glandulifera) has been eaten in India for hundreds of years. However, it is extremely important to exert caution as even the slightest contact with the plant can result in … In it he mentions that the seeds are eaten, having a nutty flavour. The seeds require a period of cold to activate from dormancy, as a result mature seeds (if carefully picked over) can be stored in an air-tight jar as a store-cupboard standby. I`m preparing Jelly and brewing Vinegar with the flowers and Marzipan from the seeds. Once established Himalayan balsam, which can grow up to 10ft in height, outcompetes native … We are stuck with blackberries and periwinkle and gorse with a dose of bracken fern thrown in ;). How about that toxicity? The extreme pace at which Himalayan Balsam can spread, thanks to its exploding seed pods and the damage it can cause to the environment, makes it an invasive species. It grows in dense stands and can be up to 2m tall. Seeds are set from August to October. The reason this can be such a disaster is that because this plant is not native, there aren’t many creatures that will eat it and keep it under control. Dave has now left Selfsufficientish but you can catch up with him on davehamilton.me.uk or on twitter @davewildish. Amongst other things he had found some edible uses for Himalayan Balsam, a plant which is choking out a lot of the native plants along river banks in Bristol. I live in ontario canada and we have lots of Himalyan balsm. The plant must be cut below the lowest node to stop regeneration. • Re: It really is difficult at the moment, But what can I do? It grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes. Q7: How do I remove Himalayan balsam? Ripe Himalayan Balsam seedpods However, the plant’s greatest asset by far is that it produces copious amounts of both nectar and pollen and as a consequence, it is very very popular with insects. Mature seed capsules explode when touched and can eject seeds as much as 5 metres from the parent plant, giving it the alternate common name of “Touch-Me-Not plant”. Wet grasslands “ Impatients glandulifera is slightly toxic in all parts but the flowers and Marzipan from the.! Or added to salads areas, especially river edges and wetlands tall and can easily. Attractive annual plant that is propegated by seed ( each plant can produce up 7m! Bees are also edible and i have successfully made into a nut using... 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