Anamalai Balsam
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Anamalai Balsam
P Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Anamalai Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens wightiana    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Anamalai Balsam is an erect, woody, branched herb, rooting at lower nodes. Flower-cluster-stalks arise singly in leaf-axils, little longer than leaf-stalks. Flowers are white, mottled with pink, about 1 cm across, borne in racemes in leaf-axils, up to 11 cm long. Lateral sepals are small. Lip is funnel-shaped; spur short, hooked. Standard is round, ovate, ending in a sharp point, with a green dorsal ridge. Leaves are alternate, lanceshaped, unequal at base, tapering at tip, bristly, sawtoothed, 5-18 x 1.5-4.5 cm, hairless or becoming hairless, lineolate; leaf-stalk with numerous stalked glands towards tip, up to 8 cm long. Capsules are ovoid, trapezoid, pointed with a pointed tip, hairless; seeds 4-5, hairy. Anamalai Balsam is a rare species confined to Anamalai range and Anaimudi, Devico-lam High Range in moist sholas and banks of streams in dense evergreen forests at 1000-1500 m altitude in Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: June-September.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Kerala.

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