Grand Balsam
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Grand Balsam
P Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Grand Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens grandis    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)
Synonyms: Impatiens grandiflora Wall., Impatiens biglandulosa, Impatiens hookeriana

Grand Balsam is a perennial robust herb, often shrubby, erect, 1-2.75 m tall. Flowers are large in umbel-like clusters of 3-4 on long flower-cluster-stalks, pale rose or white. Lateral sepals are obovate. Lip is sac-like, blunt or prolonged into very stout about 4 cm long, conical straight spur. Standard is round, wedge-shaped, notched. Wings are 2-lobed, spreading; basal lobes oblong-obovate; distal lobes larger than the basal ones, rounded, notched. Branches are round, hairless with prominent leaf-scars. Leaves are confined to tip of branches, alternate, ovate-lanceshaped or elliptic, pointed or rounded at base, tapering at tip, incurved, bristly sawtoothed, 8-21 x 3-8 cm, thick, prominently nerved; leaf-stalk 2-9.5 cm long with 2 stalked glands near tip. Capsules ellipsoid, obscurely 4 - 5-angled, hairless, 1.5 -2 cm long; seeds hairless. Grand Balsam is found in Southern W. Ghats South of High Wavy Mountains, High Ranges and South Tirunelveli hills at an altitude of 950-1700 m in densely forested ravines, mostly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is also found in Sri Lanka. Flowering: September-November & March.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli, A G Pandurangan Photographed in Kerala.

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