Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Impatiens phoenicea Beddome in Madras J. Lit. Sci. ser. 2. 19: 175. 1858 & Icon. 30. t. 148. 1868 - 1874; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 466. 1875.

Herbs, suffruticose, erect, 0.3 to 1 m high, branched or not, glabrous. Leaves alternate, lanceolate or ovate, attenuate at both ends, bristly crenate-serrate, incurved, 5 - 15 x 2.5 - 3.5 cm, dark-green, shining; petioles 1.5 - 2.5 cm long. Peduncles axillary as long as leaves, slender, erect; bracts at base of pedicels, ovate, cordate, persistent. Flowers ca 2.5 cm long, brilliant scarlet, yellow in centre. Lateral sepals obliquely ovate. Lip with spur blood-crimson, trumpet-shaped, incurved with swollen tip. Standard scarlet, broad, ovate. Wings scarlet, yellow at base, small; basal lobes cordate, overlap-ping the larger oblong, distal lobes. Capsules 4 - 5-seeded; seeds compressed-furrowed, ca 3 mm long, light brown.

Fl. & Fr. May - Nov. but mostly Sept. - Oct.

Distrib. India: Southern Western Ghats south of Pulneys and High Ranges of Kerala, sholas above 1,500 m. Tamil Nadu and Kerala.


Notes. This beautiful and striking species with its bright scarlet flowers against dark green foliage is closely allied to Impatiens walkeri Hook. of Sri Lanka. This plant can be cultivated using cuttings and deserves a place in gardens.

Chromosome no. n = 10 (Bhaskar, V. in Taxon 25( 1): 155. 1976).

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