Balfour's balsam's flowers have fused petals and a long spur coming out the back.
Also known as: Balfour’s touch-me-not, poor man’s orchid, Kashmir balsam
Balfour’s balsam is commonly planted in gardens as an ornamental. Its pretty flowers and easy maintenance make it a popular plant for shady, wet areas. However, it can quickly escape gardens and infest wetlands.
|Life Cycle:||Annual (life cycle lasts one year)|
|Early Detection and Rapid Response species:||Yes|
|Height:||Up to 2.5 feet (75 centimeters) tall|
|Leaf Description:||Lance-shaped leaves have toothed edges and are arranged alternately along the stem.|
|Fruit & Flower Description:||Its pink and white flowers have fused sepals in the back producing a spur that give it a trumpet-like appearance. This spur helps differentiate it from similar species.|
Seed pods form late summer to early fall. When disturbed, these pods can launch seeds up to 20 feet (6 meters).
|Bloom Time:||July to September|
- It is commonly found in forest understory, riparian areasAreas that are directly adjacent to flowing streams, creeks, or rivers., wetlands, and grasslands.
- It prefers shady areas with damp to wet soil conditions.
- It can rapidly spread across riparian areas, outcompeting native plants for light, nutrients, soil, and space.
- The shallow root system does not hold soil intact and can cause erosion along stream banks and rivers.
What you can do about it:
- If you think you’ve found Balfour’s balsam in Washington County, please report it to the Oregon Invasive Species Hotline.
- Prevention is one of the the best ways to control it. Before planting Balfour’s balsam in a garden, consider a native alternative like Douglas spirea (Spirea douglasii).
- Hand pulling small patches is an effective way to treat it. This is best done in the spring before it forms flowers and seeds pods. Make sure to throw away any plant material in a plastic bag in the trash—not your yard waste bin or home compost.
Balfour’s balsam is often confused with a couple of other invasive weeds, policeman’s helmet (Impatiens glandulifera) and spotted jewelweed (Impatiens capensis).
The way to distinguish these species is by closely examining their flowers. Spotted jewelweed’s flowers are orange, not pinkish purple like Balfour’s balsam. When in bloom, policeman’s helmet has a small spur behind it’s petals, while Balfour’s balsam has a long, straight spur.
Noxious Weed Listing:
|State of Oregon:||Not Listed|
|State of Washington:||Not Listed|
Download the Balfour’s Balsam Best Management Practices Factsheet