I have recently moved from the Tri-Cities area to the beautiful Sunshine Coast.
The invasive Himalayan balsam, also known as policemanís helmet, has destroyed many beautiful areas in the Lower Mainland. It especially likes taking over stream side areas and woodland trails. It is a very aggressive plant with exploding seed pods that scatter seeds a great distance. The seeds are able to survive under water and up to 18 months. Large stands crowd out all of the local foliage and actually are quite ugly.
I was dismayed to see this aggressive invasive thriving in gardens in Lower Gibsons. The plant has rather pretty, purple flowers resembling snapdragons, but gardeners should be aware that this is a plant that will destroy much of our beautiful Coast.
Here is a link to the provincial invasive plant website (www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/invasiveplant.htm). As this plant is not really established, we are in the fortunate position to eradicate it before it is.
I hope our gardeners take note and remove this invasive before it becomes a huge problem. It has already spread from the gardens to the seashore below Marine Drive and I am sure these seeds will travel far from there.
Linda Ruiz, Gibsons