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Pakistan | Family List | Balsaminaceae

Impatiens Linn., Sp. Pl. 938. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5:403.1754; Boiss., Fl. Or. 1:867.1867; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 1:440.1874; Collett, Fl. Simi. 72.1902; Hook. f. in Rec. Bot. Surv. Ind. 4:1:part 1, 1904 & part 2.1905; Pobedimova in Schischkin & Bobrov, Fl. URSS. 14:624.1949; Grey-Wilson in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 143:1-12.1979.

Annual or perennial herbs. Leaves exstipulate or with a pair of stipitate or sessile glands at base of petiole. Flowers solitary, axillary or terminal in simple racemes, subcorymbs or subumbles. The 2 lateral sepals small and greenish (in our species), the lower sepal petaloid with the spur usually well-developed, straight or curved. Anterior petal large, usually dorsally carinate. Lobes of lateral petal acute or obtuse. Capsule dehiscence septifragal, with the valves coiling up and inwards. Seeds glabrous or not.

By far the largest genus with c. 900 species; chiefly found in tropical Asia and Africa, the Himalayas in India & Pakistan. Poorly represented in Europe and N. America.

1 Capsule broadly elliptic to fusiform, densely tomentose, pendulous.   Impatiens balsamina
+ Capsule cylindrical to subclavate, glabrous to sparsely pubescent, nodding or erect   (2)
2 (1) Capsule erect   (3)
+ Capsule nodding   (8)
3 (2) Flowers white, 4-6 mm long, almost spurless   Impatiens brachycentra
+ Flowers pink-white or yellow or a mixture of both, more than 12 mm long; spur well-developed   (4)
4 (3) Leaves crenate or crenate-dentate. Flowers yellow or pink-yellow, sometimes streaked red. Spur curved   (5)
+ Leaves sharply serrate. Flowers pink-white (sometimes suffused with yellow). Spur straight   (7)
5 (4) Stem, leaves and capsule puberulous-glabrous. Bracteoles present   Impatiens scabrida
+ Stem, leaves and capsule glabrous. Bracteoles absent   (6)
6 (5) Flowers yellow. Lower sepal conical to funnel shaped, tapering into a spur, 1-1.2 cm long   Impatiens edgeworthii
+ Flowers pink and yellow. Lower sepal broad conical (in typical forms), ending in a spur less than 1 cm   Impatiens bicolor
7 (4) Stem and lower sepal of flower 18-27 mm long, flowers pink-white with some yellow. Capsule 20-24 mm long   Impatiens balfourii
+ Spur and lower sepal of flower 8-15 (-18) mm long; flowers pink-white only. Capsule up to 12 mm long   Impatiens flemingii
8 (2) Plants 100 cm or more tall, robust. Flowers pink-red, or red-purple and yellow   (9)
+ Plants up to 50(-35) cm tall, not robust. Flowers pink, or pink-white and yellow   (10)
9 (8) Upper leaves verticillate and serrate. Capsule broadly clavate, 1.4-1.8 cm long   Impatiens glandulifera
+ Upper leaves alternate and crenate. Capsule cylindrical, up to 3 cm long   Impatiens sulcata
10 (8) Upper petal of the fused petal pair with a short appendage   Impatiens thomsonii
+ Upper petal of the fused petal pair without an appendage   (11)
11 (10) Leaf serrations blackish (in dried specimens). Flowers pink. Lower sepal with spur c. 13 mm, spur straight. Anterior petal orbicular. cuneate; lateral fused petal pair 10-11 mm long, the lower much prolonged   Impatiens meeboldii
+ Leaf serrations not black. Flowers pink, white and yellow. Lower sepal with spur 19-24 mm, spur curved. Anterior petal orbicular, retuse; lateral fused petal pair c. 19 mm long, the lower some-times retuse   Impatiens lemannii

  • List of lower taxa


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    Photos by The Biodiversity of the Hengduan Mountains Project  
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