Wide-Horned Balsam
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Wide-Horned Balsam
P Native Photo: Shrishail Kulloli
Common name: Wide-Horned Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens laticornis    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Wide-Horned Balsam is an endemic and endangered species of Nilgiris. It is an erect, almost stemless herb, bearing runners, rhizome spherical. Flowering stems are solitary, 6-1.7 cm long, hairless, purple, 2-10-flowered; bracts semi-stem-clasping, concave, oblong, blunt, 0.3-0.6 cm long; flower-stalks 1 - 1.7 cm long. Flowers are about 2 cm long, white with yellow or orange hairs or pink with magenta hairs. Lateral sepals are ovate or nearly heart-shaped, blunt, about 5 mm long, green. Standard nearly round, concave, blunt, 6-8 mm long. Spur of lip curved, bullose, about 2 mm across. Wing 3-lobed, hairy; distal lobes ovate-oblong, round, 4-5 mm long; middle lobes nearly round, 8-9 mm across; basal lobes oblong, blunt, 9-13 mm long. Leaves are 1-2, erect, thick, nearly round or ovate, heart-shaped at base, blunt at tip, rounded toothed along margins, 1.5-4 cm x 1.2-2.5 cm; hairy above, hairless below; primary nerves 1 - 2, ascending; leaf-stalk hairless. Capsules are ellipsoid. Wide-Horned Balsam is commonly found on wet rocks or tree trunks and in other shady places exposed to rain and mist at about 2500 m in Kundah, Nilgiri Distt., Tamil Nadu. Flowering: September.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli, Theurkauf W Photographed in Nilgiri hills, Tamil Nadu.

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