Sickle Balsam
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Sickle Balsam
ative Photo: Pema G. Bhutia
Common name: Sickle Balsam • Tamang: राजा बु बु Raja bu bu
Botanical name: Impatiens falcifera    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Sickle Balsam is an annual herb, growing up to 20-60 cm tall, occasionally taller. Stem is erect or with procumbent branches, hairless. Leaves are alternately arranged, carried on stalks 5-10 cm, with 2 spherical basal glands. Leaves are ovate-oblong, 2.5-5 x 1.5-2 cm, ciliate at base, lateral veins 6-8 pairs, base wedge-shaped, margin sharply toothed, tip pointed to long-pointed. Flowers are borne in leaf axils, 1 or 2. Peduncles is short, 0.6-2 cm. Flower-stalks are bracteate at middle; bracts setose or narrowly lanceshaped. Flowers are spreading, yellow, often red spotted, 2-2.5 cm deep. Lateral sepals 2, green, ovate or ovate-oblong, tip mucronulate. Lower sepal is funnel-shaped, narrowed into an incurved or erect spur 1-2 cm. Upper petal is cucullate, circular, about 1 cm, tip mucronate, lateral united petals are clawed, 2.2-2.5 cm, 2-lobed. Basal lobes are ovate to orbicular, 5-6 mm, small; distal lobes large, broadly obovate, falcate basally, apex rounded; auricle absent. Capsule is linear-cylindric, up to 2 cm. Sickle Balsam is found in eastern Hinalayas, from Nepal to Sikkim, at altitudes of 2300-3300 m. Flowering: August-September.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Sikkim.

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