Pansy Balsam
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Pansy Balsam
A Native Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Pansy Balsam
Botanical name: Impatiens violoides    Family: Balsaminaceae (Balsam family)

Pansy Balsam is an annual herbs with stems erect 25–150 cm tall, fleshy, dark violet to green, swollen at lower nodes. Leaves are alternate, clustered at branch ends, leaf-stalk 1.5–6 cm long; blade broadly lanceshaped to oblong-ovate, 7–12 cm x 3.5–9 cm, green, hairless with rounded toothed margins, base wedge-shaped, tip tapering; veins 6–9; two glands at the base of leaf-stalk 1–2 mm long. Inflorescence is variable, interrupted long raceme or almost umbel-like, 6–14 cm long, in leaf-axils, 3-20 flowered. Flowers are bisexual, zygomorphic, often congested on top of flower-cluster-stalk. Flower-stalks are 1–2 cm long, slender, rusty brown, hairless, with a persistent bract at base. Bracts are 3–3.5 mm long, narrowly ovate, pointed at tip. Flowers are white, 2.6–3.2 cm x 1.2–2.5 cm. Lateral sepals two, purplish, ovate, 3 mm long; lower sepal boat-shaped, 1.2–1.5 cm long, 5–6 mm wide, 3–4 mm deep, white with rusty orange base and pointed tip; spur absent. Dorsal petal is white, 7–10 mm x 14–15 mm, hoodlike, with thickened purplish midrib, ending in a short horn or appendage, 1–2 mm long; lateral united petals 2.2–2.5 cm long, white, orange-yellowish at the base of the lower lobe with dark purplish rusty streak markings, lower lobe broadly dolabriform, 0.8–1 cm wide, 1.5–1.8 cm long; upper lobe 7–8 mm long, 8–9 mm wide. Stamens are 5; anthers with appendage. Capsules are unevenly linear, sometimes deflexed upward at maturity, 2.3–3 cm long, hairless, green to partially reddish with pale yellowish stripes, enclosing 2–5 seeds. Pansy Balsam is found in Himachal Pradesh, at altitudes of 2500–3400 m Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Wojciech Adamowski Photographed near Chansil pass, Himachal Pradesh.

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