Herb-Dwelling Balsam
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Herb-Dwelling Balsam
P Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Herb-Dwelling Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens herbicola    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Herb-Dwelling Balsam is a succulent herb, 20-40 cm tall. Flowers are white or pink, about 5 mm across, in leaf-axils, solitary or in fascicles. Flower-stalks are 5-15 mm long, 2-3 cm long in fruit, erect or deflexed. Lateral sepals are linear, tapering, 4-5 mm long. Lip is boat-shaped, 4-5 mm long; spur absent or provided with a punch-like structure at base. Standard is round, about 4 mm across, keeled at dorsal side, apiculate. Wings are 7-8 mm long, clawed, 2-lobed; basal lobes somewhat oblong; distal lobes round or crescent-shaped, dorsal ear prominent. Leaves are opposite, stalkless or shortly stalked, linear-lanceshaped, rounded or heart-shaped at base, tapering at tip, sawtoothed, 3-6 x 0.4-0.6 cm.Capsules are ovoid, gibbous, 7-10 mm long, beaked, few-seeded; seeds spherical, compressed, 2 - 5 mm, black, shining. Herb-Dwelling Balsam is endemic to Southern W. Ghats, found on grassy slopes and in marshy places, in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Flowering: September-November.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Kerala.

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