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

Elegant Balsam is an erect herb, up to 40 cm tall, with stems hairless, simple or branched, often rooting at lower nodes. This speciesi very closely related to Heart-Leaf Balsam, but differs in being spurless. Flower-cluster-stalk are slender, in leaf-axils and at branch-ends. Flowers are 3-5, umbelled or shortly racemed, about 2.5 cm across, pale rosy-white with dark purple eye. Bracts are ovate-lanceshaped, tapering, recurved. Lateral sepals ovate with green ridge ending in an acumen. Lip is boat-shaped, very small, spur absent. Standard is broad, ovate, flat with a green ridge on its back. Leaves are alternate, ovate or ovate-heart-shaped, rounded or heart-shaped at base, tapering, rounded toothed with incurved bristles, 4-12 x 1-4 cm, hairy on nerves above, pale hairless beneath; leaf-stalks up to 5 cm long. Capsules are ellipsoid, beaked, turgid in middle, about 1.2 cm long, hairless; seeds subspherical, hairy.. Elegant Balsam is found in Tamil Nadu (Anamallay hills Poonachi & Kadamparai 700 m to 1500 m) and Kerala (Travancore hills). Flowering: January-May; July-December.

Identification credit: Shrishail Kulloli Photographed in Kerala.

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