Leptura Balsam
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Leptura Balsam
P Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Leptura Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens leptura    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Leptura Balsam is an erect, unbranched herb, about 2 ft tall, with stems somewhat angled, greenish. Flower-cluster-stalks arise in leaf-axils, 4-6.5 cm long, hairless, 2-3-flowered; bracts ovate, about 4 mm long, hairless, green, deciduous. Flower-stalks are 1.5 - 2.5 cm long, fascicled. Flowers are about 2.5 cm across, pinkish. Lateral sepals broadly ovate, pointed, 4.5-5.5 mm long, green. Lip bowl-shaped, pointed, 1-1.3 cm long; spur slender, tapering, incurved. Standard is broadly oblong, blunt. Distal lobes of wings are 6-7 mm long, green becoming pinkish at edges. Stamens are yellow. Leaves are alternate, ovate to elliptic-lanceshaped, pointed or tapering at tip, wedge-shaped at base, rounded toothed along margins with short cilia in sinuses, 4.5-10 x 2.5 cm, midnerve slightly prominent below, lateral nerves in 5 pairs, rising almost at right angles to midnerve, hairless with short and stiff hairs on nerves above, pale and subglaucous below; leaf-stalks 1-7 cm long. Capsules are ellipsoid, beaked, about 1.5 cm long; seeds round, hairy when young and hairless when mature. Leptura Balsam is endemic to Southern W. Ghats in Anamalais and High Ranges (ldukki distt.) in evergreen forest margins at an altitude of 1300-1650 m, in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Flowering: May-September.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Kerala.

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