Three-Petal Balsam
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Three-Petal Balsam
A Native Photo: Tabish
Common name: Three-Petal Balsam • Assamese: Bijol-goch, Dum-dhakua
Botanical name: Impatiens tripetala    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)
Synonyms: Impatiens multiflora Wall., Impatiens ternifolia

Three-Petal Balsam is an annual herb nodes swollen, bearing bright light red-purple flowers. Flowers are 2-2.5 cm long, flower-cluster-stalk short, about 2.5 mm, flower-stalks slender, 1.3-2.3 cm long, solitary or fascicled. Lateral sepals are linear-lanceshaped, tapering, about 3 x 1 mm. Lip is beaked, 1.2-1.5 x 1-1.2 cm, spurred; spur curved,about 8 mm long. Standard is semi-hood-like. Wings are about 1.6 cm long; basal and distal lobes about equal in size; basal lobes broadly elliptic, 8-10 x 5-6 mm; distal lobes slightly notched on inner margins 1.3 x 0.7-0.8 cm; dorsal ear short, globular. Leaves are opposite or whorled, ovate-elliptic, shortly narrowed at base, tapering at tip, shallowly sawtoothed along margins, 3.5-20 x 2-7.5 cm long, green, paler beneath or whitish, finely velvet-hairy above; lateral nerves 6-19 pairs; stipules thread-like. Capsules are swollen in the middle, pointed, 1.5-2 cm long, and entirely composed of thick glistening substance. Three-Petal Balsam is found in the Himalayas, from Nepal to W Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya, Bhutan and Bangladesh, at altitudes of 600-1800 m. Flowering: June-December.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg, Wojciech Adamowski Photographed in Arunachal Pradesh & Meghalaya.

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