We all know this plant too well from colonising river banks, cycle paths and becoming an increasing problem in as an invasive plant in the UK.
Its native range is the west Himalaya and listed as possibly native to Nepal. Dr Colin Pendry who has a decade of field experience is often asked if he has seen the plant in Nepal and the answer was no.
However during the recent Flora of Nepal expedtion to Baglung, Rukum and Dolpa district of Nepal we first saw the plant growing under apple trees in a village in the Dorpatan Hunting Reserve. Then almost every day, until we reached the much drier Dolpa district, we saw the plant along the trail, by rivers and where grazing impact resulted in a climax vegetation type of Rumex nepalensis and Impatiens glandulifera.
To us it seems that this plant is behaving exactly how it does in the UK; colonising areas of disturbance and human impact, creating monocultures and out competing the rest of the flora. In other words being an invasive species.
We told Nepal’s Department of Plant Resources what we had found and everyone seemed surprised. It seems this is a looming and unexpected problem they might have to deal with in the not to distant future.