Yellow Horned Balsam
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Yellow Horned Balsam
A Native Herb elliptic Photo: Subhasis Roy
Common name: Horned Balsam • Nepali: राजा बाबु Raja bubu
Botanical name: Impatiens pradhanii    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)
Synonyms: Impatiens bicornuta sensu Hook.f.

Yellow Horned Balsam is a annual herb with a very thick rootstock, similar in general appearance to Impatiens bicornuta. Most botanists believe Impatiens pradhanii and Impatiens bicornuta to be the same species. Stem is robust, fleshy, hairless, branched. Leaves alternate, crowded at upper part; leaf-stalk 2-7 cm; leaf blade elliptic or elliptic-lanceshaped, 7-15 x 4-6.5 cm, membranous, both surfaces hairless or sparsely pilose, bristly at base, lateral veins 10-12 pairs, base wedge-shaped, margin coarsely rounded toothed, tip tapering, falling off. Flowers are crowded in leaf axils, in many flowered racemes. Inflorescence are rather stouter. Flower-cluster-stalk 3-8-10-5 cm long (up to 28 cm long including the axis), hairless. Flower-stalks are 12-19 mm long. Flowers are yellow flushed and veined with brownish-violet or purplish-brown, generally unspotted. Lower sepal is sac-like, 11-13 mm long, 16-19 mm deep, with a slender pointed tip 1-5-2 mm long, strongly incurved into a straight or incurved spur 3-4 mm long. Lateral united petals 28-32 mm long. Capsule is cylindrical, seeds 8 or 9, almost cylindric, shiny. Yellow Horned Balsam is found in the Himalayas, in Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Nepal, at altitudes of 2400-2800 m.

Identification cedit: Wojciech Adamowski Photographed in Ravangla, South Sikkim.

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