Policeman's helmet (Impatiens glandulifera)

Policeman's helmet (Impatiens glandulifera)
Images courtesy Glenn Miller
Policeman's helmet (Impatiens glandulifera)
Policeman's helmet (Impatiens glandulifera)
EDRR Species?: 
No

Other common names
Ornamental jewelhead, Jewelhead, Himalayan balsam

Description
An herbaceous annual that is succulent, smooth-stemmed and hairless. The plants can reach 10 feet tall. The upright, hollow stems are easily broken and have a purple tinge. The leaf arrangement can be opposite or whorled, with three leaves per node. Leaf shape varies from oblong to egg-shaped, with serrated edges. The flowers of this plant are solitary, irregular, ranging from white to all shades of pink, with 5 petals (2 fused), 3 sepals (2 fused), and 5 fused stamens. The overall flower shape resembles an English policeman’s helmet. The fruit is a 5-chambered capsule. The seed capsules are elongated, and when touched, mature capsules eject up to 800 seeds.

Impacts
Forms dense stands along river systems and moist lowlands, excluding native forbs.