FoI
Mountain Balsam   
Foto info
Mountain Balsam
ative Photo: Thingnam Sophia
Common name: Mountain Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens monticola    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Mountain Balsam is a beautiful wildflower that is believed to be native to China. However, it has also been found growing wild in Manipur. It is an annual herb, 1-2 ft tall. Stem is robust, simple and long naked, or branched, branchlets succulent. Leaves are alternate arranged, stalks long, 3-4 cm. Leaves are pale green-gray below, green above, ovate-elliptic or obovate, 3-13 x 3-4.5 cm, membranous, hairless below, setose between teeth, bristly above, lateral veins 5-7 pairs, base wedge-shaped, narrowed into the stalk, margin saw-toothed, tip long-pointed.Flowers are borne in 2-flowered clusters in upper leaf axils. Peduncles are longer than flower-stalks, 2-3 cm long, elongate at fruiting. Flower-stalks are 1-2 cm, bracteate at base (but appearing as if at middle in upper flowers), bracts are persistent, green, lanceshaped or ovate-lanceshaped, 3-5 mm, herbaceous. Flowers are yellowish, about 3.5 cm deep. Lateral sepals 2, green, ovate or circular, 6-10 x 6-8 mm, membranous, 3-5-veined. Lower sepal navicular, limb 1.5-1.8 cm deep, narrowed into an incurved spur. Spur is orange striped, about as long as or longer than limb, slender, mouth vertical, 1.5-2 cm, tip long-pointed. Upper petal is circular, 1.3-1.5 cm, tip cuspidate, abaxial midvein not thickened, narrowly carinate, lateral united petals not clawed, 2-2.5 cm, 2-lobed. Basal lobes are nearly circular, small. Distal lobes are dolabriform, larger, apex obtuse-rounded, auricle inflexed, orbicular. Filaments are fibrous, 5-6 mm, anthers ovoid, apex obtuse. Ovary is linear. Capsule is erect, narrowly fusiform, 2-2.5 cm. Seeds are many, yellow-brown, oblong, 2-3 mm, smooth. Mountain Balsam is found in forest margins, shaded moist places, roadsides, in China and NE India, at altitudes of 900-1800 m. Flowering: June-September.

Identification credit: Durgesh Verma Photographed in Leimaraam, Manipur.

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