Alicia Balsam
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Alicia Balsam
A Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Alicia Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens aliciae    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Alicia Balsam is an annual herb, 20-35 cm tall, often prostrate, stems branched; internodes 5-7 cm long. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, solitary or 2 together, pink or white with purple streaks. Flower-stalks are capillary, 1.5-2 cm long, deflexed in fruit. Lateral sepals are linear, about 4 mm long. Lip is boat-shaped, about 7 mm long; spur nearly sac-like, about 3 mm long. Standard is obovate, keeled, pointed, 4-5 mm long. Wings are 1.0-1.1 cm long, 2-lobed; basal lobe sickle shaped; distal lobe obovate, larger; dorsal ear thread-like, 5-6 mm long, descending into spur. Leaves are opposite, nearly stalkless, linear-lanceshaped, narrow at base, sawtoothed at margin, apiculate at tip, 2-10 x 0.3-0.9 cm, hairless or minutely papillose-bristlyulous above, hairless and glaucous beneath, with 1-3 glandular teeth at lower margin. Capsules ellipsoid, tapering, 10-11 mm long; seeds 10-20, subspherical, shining, black. Alicia Balsam is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Kerala.

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