Little monkeys

Orange Balsam has caught my eye this summer, particularly by local canals and rivers. It’s a flower that has somehow passed me by in the past – or is it advancing northwards with climate change, which is what a few people suggest? At first sight it resembles a smaller and delicate, but much more orange, version of the good old yellow Monkey Flower. Closer inspection shows it is quite different. Like the more invasive Himalayan Balsam it is not native, having arrived from North America in the late 19th century, but not (yet) regarded as an ecological threat. I saw so much the other day that I wondered if this warm summer had helped it spread across new parts of Warwickshire.

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