Himalayan balsam seedlings are everywhere at the moment… and they’re edible!
Be careful on the ID, as all dicotyledons start out with two simple seed leaves like this and a few other species may look superficially similar to this… but I think HB is very distinctive once you know it well, even at this early stage. The binomial is Impatiens glandulifera
They look gorgeous in salads and on dishes, especially if you select specimens with a pink centre and reddish stem
They’re fleshy and succulent. I find they can be a bit hot at the back of my throat sometimes but most are mild and taste great! Even better dressed in sticky elderberry vinegar… mmm!
This non-native plant is invasive and is taking over UK waterways at an alarming rate. So do your bit and munch some seedlings
It has amazing explosive seed pods (I’m gutted that it’s unhelpful to set them all off for fun!) and the flowers, leaves and immature seed pods are all edible too
There’s nationwide community groups and targeted walks aimed at pulling up as much HB as possible before it seeds to try and limit the spread – get involved!