Violet Balsam
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Violet Balsam
P Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Violet Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens violacea    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Violet Balsam is hairless herb with unique violet flowers carried on long violet stalks. Racemes are 1-4 flowered; flower-cluster-stalks 1.5-2 cm long; flower-stalks 2-4 cm long, violet. Lateral sepals linear-lanceshaped, slightly keeled above, 0.8-1 x 0.2-0.3 cm, hairless. Lip pouch-like, 1.75- 2 x 0.6-1.1 cm, wrinkled, hairless, violet, with a short hook at mouth. Standard is erect, 0.6-0.8 x 0.5-0.7 cm, gland-dotted, greenish yellow, with a dark green hood. Wing 0.8-1 x 0.6-0.8 cm, fleshy, gland-dotted and 3-lobed with a small pouch on lateral lobes. Stamens are 5, 5-6 mm long. Ovary elliptic-ovate, 0.4-0.5 x 0.15-0.2 cm, hairless; style short; stigma blunt, silky velvet-hairy-tipped. Leaves are crowded towards tip, lanceshaped to ovate-lanceshaped, flat at base, crenulate-sawtoothed and violet at margin, pointed at tip, 2-6 x 1.4-4 cm; leaf-stalks to 3.5 cm long, channelled, violet, with 2 stipitate glands near base. Capsules are ellipsoid-ovoid, about 1 x 0.35 cm, hairless; seeds somewhat 4-gonous, smooth. Violet Balsam is endemic to Kerala. Flowering: August-September.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Kerala.

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