Green-Lip Balsam
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Green-Lip Balsam
P Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Green-Lip Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens auriculata    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Green-Lip Balsam is a perennial, fleshy, hairless herb found growing on tree trunks; stems fleshy, swollen, with leaf-scars, rarely branched, rooting at lower ends. Colour of flowers is quite interesting. Lip is bright green, lateral sepals and spur are deep scarlet-white. upper projecting portion of petal is dark purple. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in few-flowered clusters, about 2.5 cm across. Lateral sepals are very large, drooping, obliquely ovate or oblong, pointed, scarlet. Lip is bright green, pouch-like, wrinkled; spur short, hooked, thick. Standard is small, dark-green, hooded. Wings are 2-lobed, hooded, purple. Leaves are alternate, broadly ovate-lanceshaped or ellipltc, blunt or pointed at tip, obscurely crenulate with few glandular setae at base, 2-17 x 1-6 cm; leaf-stalk 1-4 cm long. Capsules are ovate; seeds many. Green-Lip Balsam is an endangered species, endemic to Southern Western Ghats, south of High wavy mountains in the hills of Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram Districts. Tamil Nadu and Kerala, above 1300 m. Flowering: August-October.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Kerala.

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