Bellflower Balsam
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Bellflower Balsam
P Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Bellflower Balsam • Malayalam: Thottachinungi
Botanical name: Impatiens campanulata    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Bellflower Balsam is a perennial herb that grows up to about 1.5 ft tall and wide. The leaves are lush and satiny, elliptic or ovate-lanceshaped. White flowers, about 2.5 cm across, appear in panicles of 3 to 5 at the tops of the shoots. The markings are brick red on the upper petals, and pinkish on the lower ones. There are also two yellow nectaries inside each flower. Lateral sepals are broadly ovate, acrtminate and very large. Lip small, smooth, boat shaped; spur very short, 2-3cm long with small bulging at the tip, incurved. Standard one is round, keeled on back. Lateral petal lobes small, incurved. Anthers 5, united at the tip. Ovary blongated ovutcs 16 to 18, placenta axile. Capsules oval to ellipsoid, narrowed at both ends, seeds spherical. The plant is a heavy bloomer and it flowers for many months in a year. This flower has been introduced recently to the gardens. Bellflower Balsam is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: June-September.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Kerala.

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