Goff's Balsam
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Goff's Balsam
A Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Goff's Balsam, Gough's Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens goughii    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)
Synonyms: Impatiens microtheca

Goff's Balsam is an annual herb, 5-30 cm tall, stems simple or branched. It is named in honour of George Stephens Gough (pronounced Goff) (1815-1895), a plant collector. Pale pink flowers are borne in umbel-like clusters at branch ends. Flower-cluster-stalks are 2-5 cm long; flower-stalks up to 15 cm long; bracts persistent, minute, lanceshaped. Lateral sepals are sickle shaped, about 2 mm long. Lip boat-shaped; spur shorter than wings, straight. Standard obovate, mucronate at the retuse tip. Wings bilobed; basal lobes oblong, rounded at tip; distal lobes longer than basal ones; dorsal ear produced into the spur. Leaves are opposite, ovate, somewhat pointed at tip, rounded toothed-sawtoothed along margins, 15-3.5 x 0.8-1.5 cm, hairless, rarely hairy below; leaf-stalks up to 2 cm long. Capsules is ellipsoid, 3-5 mm long, 6-12-seeded; seeds almond-shaped, chestnut- colored, granular with hairs. Goff's Balsam si endemic to Southern Western Ghats, found at altitudes of 1500-2400 m in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Flowering: July-December.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Kerala.

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