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Impatiens walleriana

Description from Flora of China

Impatiens holstii Engler & Warburg; I. sultanii J. D. Hooker.

Plants perennial, succulent, green or reddish tinged, 30-70 cm tall, simple or branched, glabrous or rarely slightly pubescent at shoot apices. Leaves alternate; petiole 1.5-6 cm, with 1 or 2, rarely few, stipitate glands; leaf blade broadly elliptic or ovate to oblong-elliptic, 4-12 × 2.5-5.5 cm, with 1 or 2, rarely few, stipitate basal glands, glabrous, lateral veins 5-8 pairs, base cuneate, rarely ± rounded, attenuate into petiole, margin crenate-denticulate, apex acute or acuminate, or somewhat cuspidate. Inflorescences in leaf axils of upper stem and branches, usually 2(-5)-flowered, sometimes 1-flowered; peduncles 3-5 cm. Pedicels 1.5-3 cm, slender, bracteate at base; bracts linear-lanceolate or subulate, ca. 2 mm, apex acute. Flowers variable in size and color: red, crimson-red, pink, purple-red, purplish violet, or white. Lateral sepals 2, greenish or whitish, ovate-lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, 3-7 mm, apex acute. Lower sepal shallowly navicular, 0.8-1.5 cm deep, abruptly constricted into a curved spur; spur filiform, 2.4-4 cm. Upper petal broadly obcordate or obovate, 1.5-1.9 × 1.3-2.5 cm, apex emarginate, cuspidate, abaxial midvein narrowly cristate; lateral united petals not clawed, 1.8-2.5 cm, 2-lobed; basal and distal lobes nearly equal in size and shape; basal lobes obovate or obovate-spatulate, 1.4-2 × ca. 1.4 cm; distal lobes 1.2-2.3 × ca. 1.8 cm, margin entire or emarginate. Ovary fusiform, ca. 4 mm, glabrous. Capsule fusiform, 1.5-2 cm, glabrous. Fl. Jun-Oct. 2n = 16.

A beautiful ornamental plant, this species is very variable in leaf shape and flower color.

Coastal forest areas, riverine thickets, river margins, shaded places, humid places, also cultivated in gardens and greenhouses; ca. 1800 m. Guangdong, Hebei [native to E Africa; widely cultivated in many parts of the world].


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