White Himalayan Balsam
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White Himalayan Balsam
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: White Himalayan Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens meeboldii    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

White Himalayan Balsam is a slender herb, 10-16 cm tall. Leaves are few, alternate, opposite, lanceshaped to ovate-lanceshaped, 3.0-7.5 cm long, 1.2-3 cm, membranous, toothed, teeth usually blackish (in dried specimens), uppermost nearly stalkless. Raphides are present. Small flowers are borne in nearly umbel-shaped to short raceme-like clusters. The stalk carrying the cluster is 3-5 cm long, exceeding the leaves. Flower-stalks are slender. Bracts are 1-2.5 mm long, ovate-lanceshaped. Flowers are pink-white, without raphides. Lateral sepals are ovate, obtuse, about 2.4 mm long, lower sepal funnel-shaped, tapering into a nearly straight spur, 9-10 mm long. Anterior petal are circular, wedge-shaped, 5 x 3.5-4 mm. Lateral united petals are 1.0-1.1 cm long, dissimilar; lower large, prolonged forward. Capsules are club-shaped, 1.4-1.6 cm long, nodding. Seeds are few, oblong, 2.5-3 mm long, hairless. White Himalayan Balsam is found in Western Himalayas, at altitudes above 2400 m. Flowering: May-July.

Identification credit: Saleem Ahmad Photographed in Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.

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