Tree-Dwelling Nilgiri Balsam
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Tree-Dwelling Nilgiri Balsam
P Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Tree-Dwelling Nilgiri Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens pseudoacaulis    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)
Synonyms: Impatiens scapiflora var. pseudo-acaulis, Impatiens pseudo-acaulis

Tree-Dwelling Nilgiri Balsam is a perennial herbs, 20-26 cm tall, found growing on trees. Leaves are 1-3, arising from root, leaf-stalk 5-8 cm long, hairless, pink; blade 2.5-5 x 1.8-3 cm, ovate or oblong to round, hairless, green or greenish brown, blunt at tip, rounded or nearly heart-shaped at base, shallowly toothed; nerves 6, opposite. Flowers are borne on a leafless flowering stem 20-26 cm long, slender, hairless, pink, 6-8 flowered. Flower-stalks are 1-2.5 cm long, slender, pale pink; bract 4-4.5 mm long, ovate, convex, hairless, dark pink. Flowers are 3.8 x 3 cm long, pale pink, distal; standard 6-7 × 7-9 mm, broadly obovate, hairless, pale purple; lateral sepal 2-2.5 × 1-1.5 mm, ovate lanceshaped, blunt, hairless, pale pink; wings 3 lobed, 17-20 × 10-11 mm; basal 7-9 × 2 mm; middle 11 × 4-4.5 mm; distal 11-16 × 2.5-3 mm; lip 5-6 × 3-3.5 mm, boat-shaped, blunt, hairless, white. Spur is 2.6-4.2 cm long, cylindrical, slightly curved, hairless, white. Column is 3-3.5 × 2-2.5 mm, fused; anther 1 mm long, yellow; stalk 2-2.5 mm long. Pistil 2-2.5 × 1-1.5 mm, broadly ellipsoid, pointed, pale green, pale pink streaked at tip. Capsules are 1-1.5 cm, ovate-oblong, hairless; seeds brown, covered with short and stout hairs all over the surface. Tree-Dwelling Nilgiri Balsam is endemic to Nilgiri Hills.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Silent Valley, Kerala.

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