Soft Pink Balsam
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Soft Pink Balsam
A Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Soft Pink Balsam • Nepali: भेडा घाँस Bhedaa Ghaans
Botanical name: Impatiens puberula    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)
Synonyms: Balsamina puberula, Impatiens hispidula, Impatiens mollis

Soft Pink Balsam is an annual herb, 1-2 ft tall. Flowers are blue-purple, 3-3.5 cm deep. Lateral sepals 2, broadly ovate, sparsely finely velvet-hairy, tip tapering. Lower sepal obconic or funnel-shaped, narrowed into an incurved, long spur. Upper petal is round, finely velvet-hairy on apical margin, lower midvein prominently crested; lateral united petals not clawed, 2-lobed; basal lobes round, small; distal lobes broadly subovate. Anthers are pointed. Flowers are borne at branch-ends or in upper leaf axils, singly. Flower-stalks are 2.5-3.5 cm, bracteate at base; bracts subulate, brown velvet-hairy. Stem is erect, slender, simple or laxly branched, velvet-hairy in upper part. Leaves are alternate; leaf-stalk 0.5-2.5 cm; leaf blade elliptic or elliptic-lanceshaped, 5-15 x 2.5-4.5 cm, membranous, basal glands absent, below velvet-hairy especially on veins, above bristly, lateral veins 5-7 pairs, base wedge-shaped, gradually narrowed into leaf-stalk, margin rounded toothed, tip tapering or long tapering. Capsules are linear, about 2.5 cm. Soft Pink Balsam is found in the forest understories, forest margins, and grasslands, at altitudes of 2100-2500 m, in Eastern Himalayas, from Nepal to Bhutan and NE India. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Rajib Gogoi Photographed in Sikkim.

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