Garden Balsam
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Garden Balsam
ative Photo: Tabish
Common name: Garden Balsam, Rose balsam, Spotted snapweed, Touch-me-not • Hindi: गुल मेहेंदी Gul-mehndi • Kannada: ಕರ್ಣಕುಂಡಲ Karna kundala ಗೌರಿಹೂ Gowri hoo • Malayalam: Tilo-onapu • Manipuri: ꯈꯨꯖꯡ ꯂꯩ Khujang lei • Marathi: Chirdo, तेरडा Terada • Nepali: तिउरी Tiuree, तिरा-मिरा Tiraa-miraa, पडके Padake • Sanskrit: Tairini • Tamil: Aivartenkittumpai, Aivartyenki • Telugu: Chilaka mukka puvvu, kaasithummi, Kasi tummi • Urdu: Gul-mehndi
Botanical name: Impatiens balsamina    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)
Synonyms: Impatiens coccinea, Impatiens cornuta, Balsamina hortensis

Balsam pod bursting on touch.
Garden Balsam is most common Balsam grown as a garden plant in India. It is an annual plant growing up to 20-75 cm tall, with a thick, but soft stem. The leaves are spirally-arranged, 2.5-9 cm long and 1-2.5 cm broad, with a deeply toothed margin. The flowers are pink, red, mauve, lilac, or white, and 2.5-5 cm diameter. They are pollinated by bees and other insects, and also by nectar-feeding birds. Flower-stalks are up to 1-5 cm long. Lateral sepals are about 2-3 mm long, ovate, sparsely ciliate, lower sepal conical, spur 1-2 cm long, curved inwards. The ripe seed capsules explode when touched, inspiring the genus name Impatiens. Garden Balsam is native to Western Ghats India and SE Asia.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra & Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh.

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