Gardner Balsam
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Gardner Balsam
ative Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Gardner Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens gardneriana    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)
Synonyms: Impatiens setosa

Gardner Balsam is an annual herb 30-40 cm high, stems creeping at base and rooting, ascending branched or not. Leaves are opposite and whorled, ovate-oblong or elliptic-lanceshaped, wedge-shaped at base, sawtoothed at margin, tapering at tip, 3-12 x 1-4 cm, fringed with hairs at margin towards base, sparsely velvet-hairy; leaf-stalks are 1.2-3.5 cm long, velvet-hairy. Flower-cluster-stalks are thread-like, 2-3.5 cm long, hairless. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, solitary or in fascicles, about 2.5 cm across, pink. Lateral sepals are ovate or ovate-lanceshaped, tapering, fringed with hairs. Lip is boat-shaped, spur curved upwards, about 1.8 cm long, slender. Standard is nearly round-obovate, apiculate, dorsally keeled. Wings 2-lobed; lobes obovate, distal lobe larger. Capsules are round in cross-section, about 1.5 cm long; seeds hairy. Gardner Balsam is endemic to Southern Western Ghats, Karnataka and Kerala. Flowering: July-November.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Sakleshpur, Karnataka.

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