Tree-Dwelling Balsam
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Tree-Dwelling Balsam
P Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Tree-Dwelling Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens dendricola    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Tree-Dwelling Balsam is an interesting stemless herb which is found growing on tree trunks in evergreen forests. Flowering stems are 2-3, half-drooping. flower-cluster-stalks slender, round, 7 - 13 cm long, hairless. Flower racemes are 1.5-4 cm long, up to 8-flowered. Flower-stalks 1-2 cm long; bracts broadly ovate, blunt, 2.5 - 3.5 mm long, hairless. Flowers are white. Lateral sepals are sickle shaped-ovate,blunt, base deeply lobed on anterior side, about 2.5 mm long. Lip is ovate, base sac-like, 5-5.5 x 7-7.5 mm, white. Wings are 3-lobed, 1.6 - 1.8 cm long, white with a cluster of orange hairs a little above base; distal lobes straight, strap-shaped, rounded, about 8 mm long; median lobes sub-circular, about 6 mm across; basal lobe strap-shaped, slightly widened at the tip, strongly recurved, about as long as lower, spurred. Spur is strongly curved, club-shaped, 1-1.5 cm long, white. Leaves are drooping, membranous, elliptic to ovate-lanceshaped, blunt, minutely apiculate, rounded or more often narrowed at base, margins rather distinctly rounded toothed, apiculate in sinuses, 1.8-8.2 x 1-3.7 cm, more or less scattered hairy on upper surface, hairless below; midnerve and 4-5 pairs of nerves slender, latter ascending at a very pointed angle; leaf-stalk slender, round, 1.5 - 6.5 cm long, hairless. Capsules semi-ellipsoid, one side straight, pointed 8 - 9 mm long; seeds sausage-shaped, about 1.2 mm long, dark brown, muriculate, with a dense cluster of wrinkled hairs up to 2.5 mm long, at each end. Tree-Dwelling Balsam is found in the evergreen forests of Karnataka. Flowering: September-October.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Karnataka.

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