Nepal Pale Balsam
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Nepal Pale Balsam
P Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Nepal Pale Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens scullyi    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Nepal Pale Balsam is a plant 1-2 ft tall, sporting racemes of whitish flowers with long tails. Flowers are 1.2-2 cm long, 1.2-2.8 cm deep. Lateral sepals are 2, ovate, 3-4 mm long. Lower sepal is pale purple or whitish, 5-7 mm long, 1.2-2 cm deep, tubular; spur not prominent. Dorsal petal is pale purple or whitish, about 6 mm long and about 6 mm wide when flattened, hoodlike, without crest-like appendage. Lateral united petals are purple, 1.3-1.6 cm long; the upper lobe ovate, about 3 mm long, about 2 mm wide; the lower lobe with 2 rounded lobes, 1.1-1.3 cm long and 6-7 mm wide, with a long appendage, about 1 cm long, elongating into the tubular lower sepal. This appendage appears to be unique to this balsam. Stamens are 5, anthers without appendage. Flower-racemes are 6-12 cm long, in leaf-axils, with 5-10 flowers, flowers congested, with long flower-cluster-stalks (5-8 cm long, hairless). Flower-stalks are 1.8-2 cm long, slender, hairless, with a bract at base. Bracts 4-5 mm long, narrowly ovate, pointed at tip. Leaves are alternate, somewhat clustered at the top part of the stem, with leaf-stalks 5-15 mm long, blade broadly lanceshaped to oblong-ovate, 8-12 cm long, 4-5 cm wide, margin rounded toothed, nearly hairless on both surfaces. Nepal Pale Balsam is found in the Himalayas, from Himachal Pradesh to Nepal, at altitudes up to 2300 m.

Identification credit: Shinobu Akiyama Photographed en-route Rolla at GHNP & in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.

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