Lesser Balsam
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Lesser Balsam
ative Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Lesser Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens minor    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)
Synonyms: Impatiens kleinii, Balsamina minor

Lesser Balsam is a small, slender, erect herb, growing to only 10-15 cm tall, with glassy stem. Oppositely arranged, elliptic or ovate-lanceshaped leaves are 2-2.5 x 0.4-0.8 cm in size, and have distantly sawtoothedd margins with tiny glands in them. Leaf stalk is 0.2-1 cm long, often glandular. Flowers 6-8 mm long, pink or white, usually in leaf-axils, solitary. Flower stalks are 1 cm long. Sepals are 3, lateral ones 2-2.5 mm long, linear. Spur is 1-1.2 cm long, longer than the flower itself. Petals are 3, free, upper rounded, wings large, obovate, entire. Capsule 5-6 mm long, narrow, spindle-shaped ; seeds 1 mm across, spherical. Distribution: South-west India, Sri Lanka, Shimoga. Flowering: September.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke Photographed in Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala & Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra.

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