policeman's (Impatiens glandulifera)
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policeman's (Impatiens glandulifera)
ODA rating: B
 
USDA Symbol: IMGL
Oregon policeman's helmet distribution
 
Other common names
Ornamental jewelhead, jewelhead, and Himalayan balsam.
 
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Images courtesy of Glenn Miller, Oregon Dept. of Agriculture

 
 
If images are downloaded and used from the ODA web site please be sure to credit the photographer.
 
Description
Policeman’s helmet is a herbaceous annual that is succulent, smooth stemmed and hairless. The plants can reach the height of 10 feet tall, although can be smaller. The upright, hollow stems are easily broken and have a purple tinge. The leaf arragnement 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 is solitary, irregular, ranges from white to all shades of pink in color, with 5 petals (2 fused) and 3 sepals (2 fused) and five fused stamens. The overall flower shape resembles and English policeman’s helmet. The fruit is a 5-chambered capsule. This seed capsules are elongated and when touched the mature capsule explodes ejecting up to 800 seeds.

 
Impacts
Policeman's helmet forms dense stands along river systems and moist lowlands, excluding native forbs.

 
Introduction
Native to India and western Himalaya.  It is established in areas of western Washington and in the lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia.
 
Distribution in Oregon
In Oregon populations have been identified in the Salmon River and Sandy River watersheds, in the Five Rivers area in Lincoln County and Wolf Creek in Western Lane County. Smaller infestations have also been spotted in Clatsop County.
 

Biological controls
No approved biological control agent is available.
 

policeman's (Impatiens glandulifera)