Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Impatiens balsamina L., Sp. Pl. 938. 1753; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 453. 1874. I. dahlii Warb. in K. Schum. & Lauterb, Nachtr. Pl. Deutsch. Sudsee 313. 1905.


Beng.: Dupati; Guj. & Hindi: Gulmendi; Mal.: Mechingam; Or.: Haragaura; Punj.: Bentil; Sans.: Dushpatriyati; Tam.: Kasithumbai.

Erect annuals up to 80 cm high; stems simple or branched, glabrous or pubescent when young. Leaves alternate, lanceolate-elliptic, serrate along margins, 3 - 1.5 x 1 - 3 cm; petioles 3 - 10 cm long, glandular. Flowers solitary or in fascicles of 2 - 3, purple or white; pedicels 1 - 2 cm long, glabrous or pubescent. Lateral sepals ovate-lanceolate, 2 - 3 mm long. Lip cymbiform, 1.2 - 1.8 cm long, petaloid with yellowish blotch; spur filiform, incurved, 1.5 - 3.5 cm long. Standard 1.2 cm long, with a crest terminating into a mucro. Wings obovate, 2 - 2.5 cm long, deeply notched; auricles ovate-rounded. Capsules ellipsoid, 1.5 - 2 cm long, tomentose; seeds globose, reticulate.

Fl. & Fr. March - Oct.

Distrib. India: Cultivated throughout.

Central, S. & S.E. Asia, Europe, New Guinea; introduced into many countries.

Notes. It is an extremely variable species particularly with regard to size of leaves and flowers. Moore (in Tutin et al. Fl. Europaea 2: 241. 1968) states that in European specimens spur is often absent. Three sepals developing into spurs has been reported by Bhaskar (Indian J. For. 9: 276 - 278. 1986) in cultivated specimens.

Chromosome no. 2n = 10, 12, 14. (Virendra Kumar & Subramaniam, Chr. Atlas Fl. Pl. Ind. Subc. 1: 84. 1986).




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