marksteer's picture

Himalyan Balsam

Looking recent BBC Country File programme and was concerned that "Forager" suggesting eating Himalayan Balsam Impatiens glandulifera.
OK I am not going to comment on edibility but this is a Schedule 9 species Countryside and Wildlife Act : w.ukwildlife.com/index.php/wildlife-countryside-act-1981/schedule-9/schedule-9-part-2/

I think irresponsible for BBC to 'promote' collection of any part of this plant for people to take home!

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Mydaea's picture

I would have thought that as

I would have thought that as Himalayan balsam is a invasive alien (the reason it is in S9) anything that eats it should be welcomed.

marksteer's picture

Maybe but if you take it from

Maybe but if you take it from site (as I understand from law) it is illegal.
There is possiblly a project in Germany to 'harvest' for eating which it is hoped to help to control

The more I know the more I realise I don't know

Mydaea's picture

I am not a lawyer, but I

I am not a lawyer, but I think it is illegal only to uproot a plant without the consent of the landowner, and in some cases to dispose of any potentially reproductive plant materials in an uncontrolled manner.

marksteer's picture

I also am not a lawyer!

I also am not a lawyer! Information from:

http://www.ukwildlife.com/index.php/wildlife-countryside-act-1981/schedu...

Please interpert for me!

The more I know the more I realise I don't know

Mydaea's picture

As I said earlier, that

As I said earlier, that schedule refers to invasive aliens. I am not sure what more interpretation you need.

Rachy Ramone's picture

I'm with Mark on this one.

It seems to me that encouraging people to collect and take home this (or any) plant is likely to lead to surplus material being discarded.

I imagine a proportion of the wasted material will be put into "green waste" bins, or put on compost heaps (ie "planted") or quite possiby tossed aside on the way home.

All of which could be problematical, wouldn't you say?

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

marksteer's picture

Phoned BBC and lodged a

Phoned BBC and lodged a complaint - for what good that will do!
In South Wales we have big problems with Himalayan Balsam - it crowds out native species and is everywhere.
I have been running Himalayan Balsam Pulling Parties for the last couple of years in my local Nature Reserve. It takes alot of effort but if pulled July seems to start controlling it. I don't think the seeds stay viable for too long.

The more I know the more I realise I don't know

markwilson's picture

h b seed

A range of viability seems to be given most in the range 1 - 2 years

Michael Funnell's picture

It's an invasive alien species

See http://www.nonnativespecies.org/factsheet/factsheet.cfm?speciesId=1810
It's an annual and as others have said the seeds seem to have a short viability of 1-2 years. If you can prevent it seeding it can be eradicated fairly easily compared with some invasive aliens, but the problem is that it now covers huge areas. Removing all the plants before seeding - they can be stacked on site - and working systematically will reduce the population by about 90%.

Taking it home for eating means that if seed pods are ripe then the plant maybe spread.