Pink Orchid Balsam
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Pink Orchid Balsam
ative Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Pink Orchid Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens flaccida    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Pink Orchid Balsam is an erect or decumbent herb native to the Western Ghats in India and in Sri Lanka. It grows to 1.5 ft tall with thin stems, rooting at the lower nodes. The alternate leaves are ovate-lanceshaped, growing up to 3-8 cm long and 2-3.5 cm wide, ribbed. Leaves have toothed margin, and are sparsely velvety. The orchid- shaped flowers are about 3-4 cm across across, with a long, incurved tail. The color is a vivid shade of pinkish lavender, with bright magenta at the center. Dorsal petal is inverted-heartshaped, deeply notched, keeled on the back, ending in a narrow point. Lateral united petals are 2.5 cm long, upper and lower ones equal in size, both obovate, slightly notched. Seed capsule is spindle-shaped, 1.5 cm long. Pink Orchid Balsam is a rare species from Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Kerala.

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