An Unusual Pink Wildflower

Bees inside Indian Touch-me-not or Himalayan Balsam. The flower has sets of three, sharply toothed green leaves. Each flower has a larger lower petal that appears to have a ruffle going up to the center of the flower.

I love wild phlox and was fooled earlier this year by an invasive mustard plant that resembles it. Another tall pink flower has started blooming along the banks and it gave me fits and twists to figure out what it was.  At first I thought it might be wood sage (also known as germander) but it just didn’t look right.  Its characteristics:

  • tall, as much as 3 to 4 feet
  • pink irregular flowers, with a very large lower petal that appears to have a ruffle running up the middle of it
  • three, very sharply toothed leaves grouped together, spaced out about 4 to 5 inches along the stem

It appears to be another alien species known as Indian Touch-Me-Not or Himalayan balsam.  Bees were busy in the flowers that I found, the flowers deep enough that the bees were completely hidden when inside.

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