Edgeworth's Balsam
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Edgeworth's Balsam
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Edgeworth's Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens edgeworthii    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)
Synonyms: Impatiens longicornu var. cristata, Impatiens chrysantha

Edgeworth's Balsam is an annual herb 25-60 cm tall, found growing on streamsides, rocks and grazing grounds in the Himalayas. It is particularly common in Kashmir. Flowers are born in racemes towards the end of branches. Stalk carrying the flower cluster is slender, 2.5-10.5 cm long. Flowers are yellow, streaked orange in the throat, 2.5-3.6 cm, carried on 1-1.3 cm long stalk. Upper petal is orange, rounded and crested. Lateral united petals are 1.8-2 cm long - upper ones are prolonged obliquely upwards, yellow-white. This feature easily distinguishes this flower from the similar looking Three-Horned Balsam. Lower sepal is narrow funnel-shaped, gradually narrowed to a slender curved spur. Lateral sepals are large rounded with crested midrib. Leaves are elliptic long-pointed, grouped in rosettes towards the ends of branches. Edgeworth's Balsam is found at altitudes of 1500-2700 m. Flowering: June-September.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Kashmir.

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