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Watch for a New Invader

The Gardening Scene

Last fall I returned from a trip upstate on Route 22, and just around New Lebanon I had to stop and take a closer look. There on the roadside in full bloom stood a colony of Impatiens glandulifera, aka policeman’s helmet or Himalayan balsam, a plant widespread in Europe.

I had hoped never to encounter it here.

It is a sister species of our native yellow jewelweed. Native to the Himalayan foothills and introduced as a garden exotic, it has been in Europe for the last 50 years and has become a huge pest along brooks, in moist meadows and open woods.

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