Devendra's Balsam
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Devendra's Balsam
ative Photo: Pravin Kawale
Common name: Devendra's Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens devendrae    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Devendra's Balsam is a recently described annual, erect herb, 30-80 cm tall. This species is quite variable, and was probably earlier known as a variety of Impatiens amphorata, but later erroneously clubbed with Impatiens bicolor. Flowers are pink, pale-pink to white, 2.5-3.5 cm long, 2.5-3.2 deep at face. Lateral sepals are green or yellowish green, with purple mid-vein and tip. Lip is white, pinkish, yellowish-white or greenish-yellow, with yellowish-orange and purple spots or streaks within, usually towards spurred end, which appears pale from outside, spur green, sometimes purple-tipped green, curved. Upper petal is white to pink with greenish central cavity, back keeled, with purplish-brown keel surrounded by green zone with purple spots. Wings (comprising fused pair of upper and lower lateral petals) are flushed or spotted with yellow or yellowish-orange at the middle (fusion point of lateral and lower petal) or at the base of the lower petals (of fused pair of wing). Upper lateral petals (of fused pair of wing) are white or pinkish, with orange-, purple- or maroon-coloured close-set vein pattern towards the lower side. Lower petals are white or white or pinkish, flushed with yellowish at the throat (fusion point with upper lateral petal). Stem is simple or sparsely branched, hairless. Leaves are spirally arranged, alternate below, apparently whorled at the top of the stem, stalked. Stalks are up to 4 cm long, hairless, blade oblong-ovate, lanceolate, oblong-elliptic or elliptic-inverted-lanceshaped, 5-22 x 2.8-12 cm, base rounded, tip long-pointed. Leaf surface is hairless or sparsely hairy. Fruits are linear or linear-clubshaped, 2-3.8 cm long, 1.7-3.2 mm broad, hairless, green, angles pale (not purple), 4-10-seeded. Devendra's Balsam is found in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, at altitudes of 2400-3200 m. Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Rajesh Sachdev, Wojciech Adamowski Photographed in Valley of Flowers & Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand, Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh.

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