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Lemann's Balsam
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Lemann's Balsam
A Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Lemann's Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens lemannii    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)
Synonyms: Impatiens harrissii

Lemann's Balsam is an annual herb, about 20-50 cm tall. It is named for Charles Morgan Lemann (1806-1852), an English botanist. Flowers are borne at branch-ends, flower-cluster-stalks are few-flowered. Flowers are about 2.5 cm across, pink, yellow and white, flower-stalk slender, about 1.5-2.5 cm long, bracts ovate-lanceshaped, tip tapering, persistent, about 3-4 mm long. Lateral sepals are ovate-heart-shaped, about 3.5 mm long, with a short sharp point; lower sepal funnel-shaped, 2.4 cm with spur or more, spur curved. Anterior petal is nearly circular, 1.1 x 1.2 cm; lateral united petals 1.9 cm long, 2-lobed, lower petal broadly oblique-obovate, larger than the upper one, tip flat or not. Stems are erect, simple or sparsely branched, hairless. Leaves are alternate, ovate to ovate-lanceshaped, about 1.5-5 x 1-3.5 cm across, base wedge-shaped or somewhat rounded, margins rounded toothed with few stipitate glands, tip pointed, membranous, lateral veins about 5-6 or more on either side of the midrib, green above and paler beneath, minutely velvet-hairy both above and beneath, leaf-stalk slender, about 1-3 cm long, longer in lower and middle leaves. Capsule is narrow spindle-shaped or somewhat club-shaped, swollen in the middle, about 1.3-2 cm long, hairless, not bursting open. Lemann's Balsam is found in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Himalayas, at altitudes of 1800-2400 m.

Photographed on Dharamsala-Triund route, Himachal Pradesh.

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