Clasping-Leaf Balsam
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Clasping-Leaf Balsam
ative Photo: Tabish
Common name: Clasping-Leaf Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens amplexicaulis    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Clasping-Leaf Balsam is an annual herb, 20-40 cm tall. Stem is square in cross-section, with glands at nodes, hairless, simple or few branched. Leaves are opposite in lower part of stem, alternate in upper part of stem, stalkless. Leaf blade is oblong or oblong-lanceshaped, 5-15 x 2.5-5 cm, hairless, lateral veins 9 or 10 pairs, base rounded or cordate, stem-clasping, with globose glands, margin saw-toothed throughout, teeth mucronulate, tip long-pointed. Flowers are borne in umbel or raceme-like, 6-12-flowered clusters. Flower-stalks are 1-1.5 cm, tip swollen, bracteate at base, bracts ovate-lanceolate. Flowers are pink or pink-purple. Lateral sepals are 2, obliquely orbicular, rarely curved. Lower sepal is obliquely sack-like, abruptly narrowed into an incurved short spur. Upper petal is nearly circular, tip is rostellate. Lateral united petals are not clawed, 2-lobed, basal lobes circular, tip long-pointed, distal lobes spotted, ovate; ears inflexed, narrow. Anthers are obtuse. Capsule is subcylindric. Seeds black-brown, obovoid. Clasping-Leaf Balsam is found in the Himalayas, from Punjab to Nepal, at altitudes of 2700-3200 m. Flowering: July-August

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh.
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