Pretty East-Himalayan Balsam
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Pretty East-Himalayan Balsam
A Native Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: Pretty East-Himalayan Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens porrecta    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)
Synonyms: Impatiens bella, Impatiens andersonii, Impatiens garrettii, Impatiens striolata

Pretty East-Himalayan Balsam is a clustered annual herb, 20-45 cm tall; stems about 2-4 mm in diameter, prostrate, rooting at lower nodes, velvet-hairy. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, 1-3, about 2.5 cm across, orange-red or golden-yellow with dark-purplish red nerves at throat, velvet-hairy. Flower-stalks are about 1.5-3 cm long, slender, lateral sepals about 3-7 mm long, white with red dots, ovate to ovate-lanceshaped, velvet-hairy. Lip is about 3-5 mm long, obliquely boat-shaped; spur abruptly constricted about 0.5-1.5 cm long, yellowish with red markings on back and rosy tip, thread-like. Standard petals are about 1-1.5 cm long, reddish-yellow, round-obovate, shortly and pointedly pointed at tip; wings about 1.2-1.7 cm long; basal lobes about 5-7 x 3-4 mm, with an orange spot in middle, ovate-triangular; distal lobes nearly round or elongate-obovate; dorsal ear short. Leaves are simple, alternate, spiral; leaf-stalk about 0.5-2 cm long, blade about 1-3.5 x 1-2.5 cm, broadly ovate to round, sometimes lanceshaped, slightly narrowed into leaf-stalk at base, tapering at tip, finely rounded toothed-sawtoothed along margins with lowermost teeth thread-like, secondary nerves 4-12 pairs. Capsules are about 1.2 cm long, spindle-shaped, slightly velvet-hairy. Pretty East-Himalayan Balsam is found from Nepal, East Himalaya to Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, at altitudes of 1500-1800 m. Flowering: August-November.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg Photographed in Mizoram.

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