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The shape of its flower has given Himalayan balsem its nickname policeman's helmet. As the name indicates, it is native to the Himalayas. It was imported to Europe as a decorative plant and has managed to adapt well in the wild. Too well for some people. Himalayan balsem has become an invasive weed in places, thanks to its aggresive means of distribution. When disturbed, the ripe seed pods burst open, scattering the seeds up to 7 meters away. This plant grows best in damp soil and therefore found in massive numbers along river banks. The marshes along the Schelde turn pink in the summer from the balsam.

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