Devendra's Balsam   
Foto info
Devendra's Balsam
ative Photo: Rajesh Sachdev
Common name: Devendra's Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens devendrae    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Devendra's Balsam is a recently discovered annual, erect herb, 30-80 cm tall. Stem is simple or sparsely branched, hairless, with few scattered, rounded, brown sessile glands, particularly in the upper part of the stem. 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. Flowers are 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, 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 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, with orange-, purple- or maroon-coloured close-set vein pattern towards the lower side. Lower petals are white or white, flushed with yellowish at the throat (fusion point with upper lateral petal). 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, at altitudes of 2400-3200 m. Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Rajesh Sachdev
Photographed on Govindghat-Ghangria route, Uttarakhand.
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