Himalayan Balsam

Himilayan Balsam

(Impatiens glandulifera)
*Detected in Michigan*

Report this species to:

Susannah Iott, MDARD Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, 517-420-0473.

If possible, please take one or more photos of the invasive species you are reporting. Also make note of the location, date and time of the observation. This will aid in verification of your report. You may be asked to provide your name and contact information if follow-up is needed.

- Or - use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool

- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone - http://www.misin.msu.edu/tools/apps/#home


himalayan balsam
Barbara Tokarska-Guzik University of Silesia bugwood.org

himalayan balsam
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org - Himalayan balsam leaves

himalayan balsam
Francine MacDonald


  • Grows between 3 and 6 feet tall
  • Purple/red stems are smooth and hollow
  • 5-10 flowers on each stems
  • 5 petals per flower-purple, pink, or white in color
  • Fruit capsules explode when ripe and touched

Habitat: Himalayan balsam is an herbaceous, terrestrial, annual plant that thrives in riparian zones. It can be found in wetlands, forests, gardens, yards, and on the side of the road. This species can tolerate many types of soils.

Native Range: Himalayan region of Asia

U.S. Distribution: Has been introduced to northern states on the east coast as well as the west coast, including Montana and Idaho

Local concern: Himalayan balsam competes heavily with native species and alters the behavior and composition of pollinating insects. Additionally, this species can alter water flow at high densities which increases the risk of erosion and flooding.

Other Common Names: Ornamental jewelweed, touch-me-not, Indian jewelweed, policeman’s helmet

Native look-alikes and how you can tell them apart from Himalayan balsam:

  • Jewelweed or spotted touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis): Yellow to orange flowers, much smaller in size, leaf blades more rounded with fewer serrations.
  • Pale touch-me-not (Impatiens pallida): Yellow flowers. Leaf blades more rounded, with fewer serrations.


Himalayan Balsam Invasive Species Alert - Printable PDF