Indian Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)

Indian Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)

Observation - Indian Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) - UK and Ireland. Description: Native to India and the western Himalaya. (Impatiens glandulifera). Description and Variation: Impatiens glandulifera, or policeman’s helmet, is an herbaceous annual that is succulent and glabrous (smooth and hairless), and it can range from three to ten

Native to India and the western Himalaya. (Impatiens glandulifera). Description and Variation: Impatiens glandulifera, or policeman’s helmet, is an herbaceous annual that is succulent and glabrous (smooth and hairless), and it can range from three to ten feet tall. The upright, hollow stems are easily broken and they have a purplish tinge. The leaf arrangement can be opposite or whorled, with (usually) three leaves to a node. The simple leaves range from oblong to ovate to elliptic (egg shaped), and they are about six inches long and half as wide. The leaf margins are sharply serrate with 20 teeth, or more, along each side. Each leaf has a stout petiole (stem), with small, glandular stalks found at the base of these petioles. Several solitary flowers terminate an elongated axillary stalk. The flowers are irregular, with five petals (two fused), three sepals (two fused) and five stamens with connate (fused) filaments. The overall flower shape resembles an English policeman’s helmet. The fused sepals form a spur less than six mm long. The flower colour ranges from white to all shades of pink and purple. The fruit is a five chambered capsule. When touched, the mature capsule explodes and ejects up to 800 seeds. The roots extend four to six inches deep, with adventitious roots found along the lower stem nodes, sometimes buttressing.This plant is not a native to the UK and indeed in the top 10 alien species list. http://www.wildflowersofontario.ca/indiantouchmenot.html