Nature preserve “Augšzeme”
Policeman’s helmet (Impatiens glandulifera) was imported into Europe as an ornamental plant, it often spreads around communities from gardens to river valleys. In the areas where this plant expands, it suppresses and stops the growth of smaller, more sensitive native species.
An annual herbaceous plant, grows 1–2 m in height, sometimes up to 3 m. A thick, juicy, hollow stem, pink in colour, noticeably thicker where the stem branches off. The leaves grow opposite one another, sometimes in groups of three. They are bare, lanceolate, up to 18 cm long and 7 cm wide, the edges are serrated. The shoots and leaves contain nectar.
The flowers grow in long, sparse bunches in the upper leaves. Petals have different shades, most often purple, sometimes pink or white. Blooms from June to October.
The fruit is a 1,5–3,5 cm oblong bulb, which, upon ripening, sprouts and expels the seeds.
Manner of introduction
Imported as an ornamental plant. Often spread in populated areas from abandoned gardens or with soil.
Characteristics of growing conditions
Most often grows in partially shaded places, in moist and wet areas with a nitrogen-rich soil, near water bodies, at the edge of forests, in forests, plaines, near homes, sometimes among reedsd and low bogs, among waste and in ditches.
Familiarize yourself with invasive species and submit your observataions to: “Invazīvo sugu pārvaldnieks”.
Source: “Invazīvo sugu pārvaldnieks”, Nature Conservation Agency