Cathcart's Balsam   
Foto info
Cathcart's Balsam
P Native Photo: Saroj Kasaju
Common name: Cathcart's Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens cathcartii    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Cathcart's Balsam is a perennial herb, up to 2 ft tall, with stems simple or sparingly branched, hairless. Flowers are 3-10, stalked, pale yellow, flower-stalks slender, 1.8-5 cm long. Lateral sepals are round, about 1.6 cm long, rather thin. Lip is broadly boat-shaped, thinner; spur abruptly constricted, 1-1.8 cm, reddish. Standard is hoodlike, dorsally keeled, 1.6-1.8 x 2-2.2 cm. Wings are 2.5-3.7 cm long, bilobed; basal and distal lobes almost equal in size; basal lobes broadly elliptic to kidney-shaped, entire; distal lobes broadly ovate, notched. Bracts are small, ovate-lanceshaped, 2.5-6 mm long, herbaceous; flower-cluster-stalks 1.5-10 cm long, hairless. Leaves are spirally arranged, ovate to ovate-lanceshaped or ovate-elliptic, broader at middle, pointed to tapering at tip, shallowly rounded toothed along margins, 8 - 25 x 2.5 - 12 cm, deep-green above, pale beloW; lateral nerves 5 - 11 pairs; leaf-stalk slender, 0.8 - 9 cm long, sometimes with a few stipitate glands towards tip. Capsules cylindrical to club-shaped, linear, about 2.2 cm long. Fl. & Cathcart's Balsam is found in E. Himalayas, at altitudes of 600-1550 m, in Darjeeling, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Bhutan. Flowering: June-December.

Identification credit: Rajib Gogoi Photographed in Soureni, Mirik, West Bengal.

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