More of that balsam…

Once you’ve got yr eye in, it’s relatively easy to spot flowering Himalayan Balsam from a bike: the plant is very tall and the colours are sufficiently different from fireweed — the other tall, pink-flowered plant that’s visible at this time of year. Shame, then, that I spotted a big stand on either side of Polwarth Bridge on the Union Canal.

British Waterways page on Himalayan Balsam. “It dies back in Autumn and leaves the bank vulnerable to erosion.”

It’s interesting because the SNH report on invasive species in 5 rivers in the Lothians notes that the plant has well-defined upstream and downstream limits. However, that’s not the context on the Union Canal which has no locks on its 30-or-so mile extent. Ewan Campbell, SNH, 0131 654 2466 is listed for further information on this project. Not found anything for BWS…


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