Balfour's Balsam
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Balfour's Balsam
ative Photo: Alok Mahendroo
Common name: Balfour's Balsam, Balfour's touch-me-not
Botanical name: Impatiens balfourii    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Balfour's Balsam is an annual herb, 1.5 ft or more tall, hairless. Leaves are elliptic-ovate to lanceshaped, alternate, 4-10 x 1.8-4.2 cm, toothed, with 8-13 pairs of lateral nerves. Leaf-stalks are up to 5.5 cm long. Flowers are borne in racemes towards the ends of branches on peduncles up to 10 cm long. Flowers are white, pink and yellow, 1.8-2.7 cm long. Bracts are 3 mm long. Lateral sepals are 2.5 mm long. Spurred lower sepal is 2.2-2.5 cm long, conical, tapering into a slender straight spur 1-1.5 cm long. Anterior petal is 5.5-6 x 10-13 mm; lateral united petals unequal, 2-2.5 cm long; lower one prolonged, larger than the upper petal, sometimes retuse. Capsule is broadly linear, 2-2.4 cm long, erect. Seeds are 2.5-3 mm long, ovoid. Balfour's Balsam is found in NW Himalayas. Flowering: July-August.

Identification credit: Alok Mahendroo, H.B. Naithani Photographed in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh.

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