Shrub Balsam

East Africa

General description

Erect, evergreen, perennial subshrub <2m tall. Semi-woody hairless stems more or less succulent when young. Large, green, serrated leaves arranged in whorls on stem. Pale pink-white flowers and seed capsules, all year round.

Coastal areas, roadsides, forest margins, settled areas. Tolerates range of conditions but requires moderate to high light levels.

Seeds dispersed locally from explosive seed capsules. Grows readily from stem fragments.

Forms dense infestations that prevent regeneration of native seedlings. Smothers young plants.

Site management

Limited herbicide follow-up required. Begin control programme at top of catchment to prevent reinfestation via flooding. Prevention of dumping essential

Recommended approaches

1. Smaller plants can be dug out, taking care to remove all parts.
2. Spray (100ml glyphosate + 20ml penetrant/10L or 3g metsulfuron + 10ml penetrant/10L) avoiding spray runoff.

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

RPMS status

Not a legally declared pest plant
shrub balsam - Main species image