Handsome Flowered Balsam
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Handsome Flowered Balsam
ative elliptic Photo: Pravin Kawale
Common name: Handsome Flowered Balsam, Western hill balsam • Marathi: ढाल तेरडा Dhal-terda
Botanical name: Impatiens pulcherrima    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

True to its name, Handsome Flowered Balsam is one of the finest of the Indian Balsams. It is an annual herb, 40-60 cm tall, with erect succulent stems, swollen at nodes. Alternately arranged elliptic membranous leaves are 7-12 cm long. Leaf margins are serrated, and the leaft stalk is 2-4 cm. Flowers are borne in leaf axils, on stalks 5-8 cm long, 2-3 together. Violet purple flowers are 4-5 cm across. Standard petal is round, notched, spurred at the back. Wing petals are broad. Lip is short, boat-shaped. Spur is long and curved. Capsules 1.5 cm long. Occurs on slopes of forested hills above 1000 m. Unlike other balsams, this one is not geragrious. Handsome Flowered Balsam is found in the Western Ghats. Flowering: August-October.

Identification credit: Pravin Kawale Photographed in Alibag & Raigarh, Maharashtra.

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