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Monster weed

I've been asked several times when I'm going to dispose of this weed but I can't until I know what it is!

It appeared sometime around July, which was when the following photo was taken. It is now over 6 feet and showing no signs of stopping. No flowers, but it is throwing out a new branch at every leaf node and getting terribly large! The stem, or should I say trunk, is some 2 inches across, and it has roots going up the side, where it is leaning over. The stem is speckled with pink-purple dots, similar to a giant hogweed, starting from the base and spreading up as it matures.

Any suggestions eagerly received.





  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    Can you do a side on view to show the shape of the plant please

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    Could it be Indian Balsam? Impatiens glandulifera?

  • archiepemarchiepem Posts: 1,155


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,339
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    Thanks for the link, Dove. I never knew that the boiled stems were edible OR that they make a yellow dye OR that the sap is a cure for poison ivy.image

  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    It looks like it could be Himalyam Balsum.

  • Panoply,

    Looks like it may well be Himalyan balsum - if it is it should be producing pink flowers by now. The bumble bees love the flowerer, howevers if it's the only one around in your neighbourhood I would remove it before the seeds set, otherwise there will be twenty plants next year and a thousand in a couple of years. We have it everywhere around here as we have an unmanaged common nearby. This stuff is even out competing the japanese knotweed!

  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    If your monster plant is a Himalayan Balsam then get rid of it and don't allow it to seed everywhere.  It has now become a nuisance along river banks even though it is very pretty. Such a shame for an attractive plant and it has  an amazing way of shooting out it's seed with a loud popping sound.   

  • Thank you all for your help. I think you are right that it is Himalayan Balsam. Only thing that doesn't seem the same is my plant's stems are green with red speckles, rather than having a solid red stem, but I guess this is natural variation.

    I'm surprised it hasn't started flowering yet since it is an annual. I will keep it around until it flowers and then chop it down. I may try boiling it too! Enough to feed the family!

    Here it is in all its current monstrosity alongside the fennel and sunflowers, and shots of its rooty base and the speckly stem.







  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    I'm not convinced. I haven't seen it lately but I remember a sort of translucence to the red stem. and some red on the leaf, maybe the mid rib?

    these stems have a coarse solidity to them that  doesn't seem right.

    and here we are at the end of september, 6' tall and no flowers

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