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Images by Balkar Singh, (Nidhan Singh – Id by Umeshkumar Tiwari), (Dalia Seth – Id by Tabish), (Mani Nair – Id by Tabish), (For more photos & complete details, click on the links)

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Royle’s balsam, Himalayan balsam, Indian balsam, Ornamental jewelweed, Policeman’s helmet, Purple jewelweed, Indian touch-me-not, Washington orchid;
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Tall glabrous herb up to 2 m tall, thick and somewhat fleshy, often tinged red; leaves opposite or whorled, up to 15 cm long, lanceolate to elliptic-ovate, sharply serrate, teeth glandt-tipped, long-acuminate; petiole 2-4 cm long; flowers large, pink, crimson to white, 3-4 cm long excluding spur, in flat-topped clusters at ends of branches, sometimes paniculate, peduncles up to 10 cm long; bracts elliptic-ovate, 7-10 mm long; lateral sepals obliquely cordate, 6-9 mm long; lower sepal bell-shaped to saccate, suddenly contrated into short cylylindrical incurved spur about 6 mm long; upper petal rounded, 7-9 mm long, 11-13 mm broad, crested on back; lateral united petals 25-28 mm long; capsule clavate, 15-25 mm long, nodding.
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Similar to I. sulcata in large flowers and spur but easily differentiated by opposite to whorled leaves, serrate margins and clavate capsules.
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Flowers of Impatiens sulcata looks quite similar to those of Impatiens glandulifera, but it can be easily identified by its narrow-linear seed-pods, as opposed to the club-shaped seed-pod of Impatiens glandulifera. 
While I. thomsonii is smaller than the width of your index finger, I. sulcata flowers are more than twice that size;
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Seeds are edible and yield an oil which dries faster than linseed oil, and as such used in varnishes;
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It is endemic to Western Himalaya. However, it is commonly cultivated both in Europe (since 1839), temperate Asia and North America, New Zealand, recently also in Chile.

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VoF Week : VoImpatiens thomsonii (Thomson’s Balsam)Impatiens thomsonii (Thomson’s Balsam)
Habit : Slopes
On the way to Ghangria
13.08.2012

sorry, there is in typo in Subject : Please read as Impatiens


… this is not Imaptiens thomsoniiThomson’s Balsam is a very tiny flower, smaller than the width of your forefinger.
This looks like Impatiens glandulifera, the Himalayan Balsam, characterized by its club-shaped seed-pod.
I guess most people would not have noticed it in the midst of the more common Impatiens sulcata. Impatiens sulcata has a narrow cylindrical fruit.
I always wanted to see this one in the Valley of Flowers – great catch!


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VOF Week 280812_DS_05: Throughout the trail to VOF, pink patches of this flower on both sides of the path were so pleasant for the eye.
August 14, 2012 towards VOF.
Is it Impatiens Thomsonii? Please confirm.


I think Impatiens sulcata??


Thanks … for id. But please tell me what is the difference between Thomsonii and sulcata.


Biggest difference is size of the flowers. While I. thomsonii is smaller than the width of your index finger, I. sulcata flowers are more than twice that size.
However, this looks like Impatiens glandulifera to me. Impatiens sulcata has narrower and longer seed-pods:
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Gigantic%20Himalayan%20Balsam.html
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Himalayan%20Balsam.html
I would appreciate validation from others.



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VOF Week: Impatiens sulcata at VoF and along “Govindghat-Ghangaria Trail”: Seen 2 sets of similar looking Impatiens sp., (First 4 posted here are from Govindghat-Ghangaria Trail and remaining are from VoF). Could both of these sp. be Impatiens sulcata ??


First 4 are Imaptiens glandulifera
Compare the seed-pods of your flowers with seed-pods in this picture of Impatiens sulcata
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Gigantic%20Himalayan%20Balsam.html


 

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Fabaceae ID Please: Fabaceae, abundant in Manali – Leh high way. Everywhere on both sides.


Not Fabaceae please.

I hope Impatiens glanduligera.


Yes Sir, I had wrongly written as Fabaceae.



 

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VOF Week: Impatiens for id from the trek…: This was shot from the trek on our very first day of trekking i.e. 13.8.12…is this I. glandulifera?


Yes it is I. glandulifera



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VoF Week: Impatiens glandulifera from the way to Ghangriya:

Impatiens glandulifera from the way to Ghangriya

pls validate


Thanks … for another beautiful upload



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Impatiens glandulifera from Kashmir: Impatiens glandulifera Royle (I. roylei Walp.) from Kashmir, growing along stream sides and ponds. Photographed from Tangmarg on June 20, 2010.

Perhaps one of the very beautiful species of the genus, and rightly introduced as ornamental in many gardens especially in Brittain and elsewhere especially in Europe.
Common Names:
English: Royle’s balsam, Himalayan balsam, Indian balsam, Ornamental jewelweed, Policeman’s helmet, Purple jewelweed, Indian touch-me-not, Washington orchid
German: Drüsiges Springkraut, Indisches Springkraut
French: Balsamie de l’himmalaya 

Seeds are edible and yield an oil which dries faster than linseed oil, and as such used in varnishes.


Is it endemic to Western himalaya if not then I think I have seen this


You are right – it is endemic to Western Himalaya.
However, it is commonly cultivated both in Europe (since 1839), temperate Asia and North America, New Zealand, recently also in Chile.
As the species of higher altitudes it acclimatises easily and invade temperate zone. There are spontaneous records from almost whole Europe, Japan, Alaska, British Columbia, eastern USA and Canada, New Zealand.

I personally saw it in many places in Poland and in Siberian Russia near Novosibirsk. At the moment I. glandulifera is most succesfull invader of any Impatiens


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Balsaminaceae, Geraniaceae and Oxalidaceae Week: NS01: BALSAMINACEAE: Impatiens glandulifera from VOF: (12 images). To begin with the week from my side, I am uploading this one shot from Gobind Ghat-Ghanghariya trekImpatiens glandulifera Royle


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Impatiens thomsonii (Thomson’s Balsam)
Habit : Slopes
On the way to Ghangria

13.08.2012


I can’t agree – your plant looks like I. glandulifera with big flowers and club-shaped capsulas


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Impatiens glandulifera Royle, Ill. Pl. Himal. Mount. 151. t. 28, f. 2. 1834.
Syn: Impatiens roylei Walpers
Common names: Himalayan balsam, Indian balsam, policeman’s helmet, Royl’s balsam
Tall glabrous herb up to 2 m tall, thick and somewhat fleshy, often tinged red; leaves opposite or whorled, up to 15 cm long, lanceolate to elliptic-ovate, sharply serrate, teeth glandt-tipped, long-acuminate; petiole 2-4 cm long; flowers large, pink, crimson to white, 3-4 cm long excluding spur, in flat-topped clusters at ends of branches, sometimes paniculate, peduncles up to 10 cm long; bracts elliptic-ovate, 7-10 mm long; lateral sepals obliquely cordate, 6-9 mm long; lower sepal bell-shaped to saccate, suddenly contrated into short cylylindrical incurved spur about 6 mm long; upper petal rounded, 7-9 mm long, 11-13 mm broad, crested on back; lateral united petals 25-28 mm long; capsule clavate, 15-25 mm long, nodding.
Similar to I. sulcata in large flowers and spur but easily differentiated by opposite to whorled leaves, serrate margins and clavate capsules.

Photographed from Kashmir, growing along stream banks.


I can add: Naturalized and/or invasive in many places in temperate zone: almost whole Europe, spreading in western and eastern Nortt America, also in Asia (Siberia, Japan), found in Mexico. Recently cultivated in Chile and N Australia. Personally I saw it planted and spontaneous in Siberia near Novosibirsk and Tomsk.

In Europe sometimes more than 3 m high. Very variable colors, for example in my region whitish-rosa, rosa, rosa-purple and purple forms occur


Beautiful ……Character photography!



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Pictures taken in Gulmarg on 11/9/2011.
Impatiens glandulifera seen growing wild by the roadside.

Kindly confirm id.


Yes … Very good photographs


Impatiens glandulifera – on your third photo club shaped capsules are well visible.

Rather short plants however. Here in Poland I am familiar with plants 1,5-3 m high


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This Impatiens sp. was spotted along “Govindghat-Ghangaria Trail” during our VoF trek.. Could this be Imaptiens glandulifera? Kindly validate.


Impatiens glanduliferabig flowers, very broad lower sepal, short spur, club shaped capsule


Yes club-shaped fruits are distinctive along with large flowers


 


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Fwd: Impatiens in Kashmir Valley – missing images…. : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)

A couple of images of a balsam scanned in from slides taken in the 1980s beyond Lidderwat, Lidder Valley, Kashmir. I think the elevation was around 3200m.
No close-up photos were taken.

Would welcome any thoughts as to which species?


I will probably dissapoint you badly – I suppose this plant to be dwarf form of I. glandulifera. Plants look small, maybe 20-30 cm (?), but they grow between rocks, where is little soil. Could you give more details of this finding?

I checked recent paper (Akiyama S., Ohba H. 2015. Studies of Impatiens (Balsaminaceae) of Nepal (1) Impatiens amplexicaulis Edgew. and I. chungtienensis Y. L. Chen. Bulletin of the National Museum of Nature and Science. Series B, Botany 41,3: 113-124.) and found that other species with such broad, saccate lower sepal have linear capsules. I checked I. amplexicaulis, as some leaves look at least sessile. I. chungteniensis (= I. badrinathi) has also different spur and smaller flowers. I. sulcata has linear capsules. This way only one candidate left – I. glandulifera. Your pictures show big rosa flowers with saccate lower sepal, short abruptly curved spur and clavate capsules.

I will gladly hear other opinions.


No, not disappointing at all.  This is what I suspected but wondered if it MIGHT be another species – though was aware of ‘dwarf’ forms of ‘Himalayan Balsam’.
I have never worked at an Institution (though visited quite a number of herbaria – spending many days at several) so getting second-opinion, especially from those familiar with/expert in certain genera is invaluable.
Stewart recorded I.glandulifera (syn. I.roylei) as abundant in Kashmir @ 1800-3000m – so the location of the images taken (en route to Mt. Kolahoi) was very much at (indeed slightly above) this upper limit – thus a shorter variant might be expected.  I realise the species has been recorded at higher elevations further south-east along the Himalaya.
I wonder if you know the ‘Valley of Flowers’ (Smythe) book?  Second-hand copies are readily available at modest cost, especially, if like me, you do not mind the condition.  I have a copy of the Uniform Edition.
Within it the author comments about how “ruinous to pasture” Impatiens roylei (and Polygonum polystachyum) are in Garwhal. Stating that once these two plants have got a hold of ground, pastureland is permanently ruined – this had occurred in a number of places in the Bhyundar Valley….
A clear warning as to the risks of introducing ‘Himalayan Balsam’ as an ornamental plant, as happened in the UK no later than the 1830s.
In the ‘Botanical Notes’ within the book Smythe, explaining that he was a ‘gardener’ and not a ‘botanist’, that he mentioned finding a balsam (what is now called I.glandulifera) growing 8 feet at 2100m and as many inches high @ 4200m.  PROPHETICALLY he then states that such flowers should be able to adapt themselves to the British climate….  Quite so and ‘Himalayan Balsam’ has not only adapted to the British climate but also Europe (to Norway) and parts of N.America (to Alaska).
I have seen ‘Himalayan Balsam’ growing near Shimla.  Anyone viewing it there and aware of INVASIVE plants would AVOID introducing it into cultivation in other countries.  Of course 2 centuries ago, even senior botanists were blissfully unaware of such considerations.
My understanding is that Dr J F Royle played a major role in the first formal introduction(s) into the UK, even though he had returned to the UK AFTER being Superintendent of the East India Company’s Botanic Garden at Saharanpur.
I consider it highly PROBABLE that the first formal introductions of I.glandulifera did NOT originate in Kashmir nor SHIMLA (though informal additional introductions may subsequently have been made there).
Whether the first introductions are the ones from which the form(s) which escaped and naturalised and spread are derived from is another matter.
The basic ‘hardiness’ (a complex term/topic) which can be expected of a species introduced into cultivation from the Himalaya is likely to depend, in part upon PROVENANCE.
An introduction from 1800m in the Kashmir Valley could be expected to be HARDIER than one from a similar elevation in Himachal Pradesh or Uttaranachal.   Indeed could be more adaptable than from say 3000m in H.P., as Kashmir has a cooler, drier climate (it does NOT suffer from the monsoon to any extent) cf. those places which do.
Srinagar in Kashmir (@ c. 1500m) experiences frosts (the famous lakes freeze) plus snow (though seldom heavy) whereas Kathmandu in Nepal (at a similar elevation) is sub-tropical with frosts virtually unknown.
I think it highly likely that the earliest MAIN introductions through Saharanpur Botanic Garden (which had a station at Mussoorie) are likely to hail from near there.  Himalayan Balsam does not grow as a native at Saharanpur itself.  Very few foreigners had gained access to Kashmir by the 1830s whilst Shimla did not come into its own until later.  Shimla became the ‘Summer’ capital of the raj and ‘the’ place to visit/stay, so numerous ‘Britishers’ went there.  Private individuals may well have gathered a few seeds (it is easy to recognise ripe balsam seed) of this plant (and others) taking them back to the UK, introducing them piece-meal.  After some years/decades most, if not all would have died out in cultivation – ONLY if they escaped and naturalised would they have survived (or a selection was made then propagated in nurseries and then sold widely).  The VAST MAJORITY of plants belonging to all genera, either fail to establish themselves/reach flowering in gardens or die-out after a period of time.
However, Countess Amherst (1762-1838) wife of Lord Amherst, Governor-General of India (1823-28) collected many Indian plants while accompanying her husband on his travels.  Some at least, reputedly, from the back of an Elephant!  The genus Amherstia is named after her.  She is credited with being the first European to introduce Clematis montana and Anemone vitifolia to English gardens.  These species are found in the hills, not the plains of India (plants originated in the Indian plains would not be hardy enough to be grown outside in the UK).  Hill-stations in the W.Himalaya being the likely places, perhaps Shimla or Mussoorie?  But I don’t think she introduced Himalayan Balsam in the 1820s.


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Impatiens amplexicaulis Edgew. Please verify?? : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (4).

Date: 24 JULY, 2014
Location: On the way to Kalinchok, Dolakha District, East Nepal  

Altitude : 9000 ft.


I don’t think it is I amplexicaulis – even uppermost leaves are clearly petiolate (see picture of I. badrinathi in Pusalkar & Singh 2010 for explanation of amplexicaul leaves). There are other species with at least upper leaves amplexicaul, described in Flora of China.
This is also not I. badrinathi, as its spur is short and bend.
Looks similar, but not the same like I. glandulifera and I sulcata.I see rusty coloration on ventral side of lower sepal, lacking as far as I know from both of these species.

How big were flowers? What about capsule shape? Do you have photo of front side of the flower? Some more information about plant habit?


Id validation is pending . Plant is rather tall and flowers are also

big. I guess  Impatiens glandulifera Royle


Re: Saroj’s guess of Impatiens glandulifera kindly check AND READ THROUGH ALL THE CONTENT OF: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/fowh/impatiens-1
ALSO: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/fowh/how-not-to-attempt-to-identify-plants  INDEED ALL OF MY ‘FLOWERS OF THE NORTH-WEST HIMALAYA – A VIRTUAL GUIDE: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/fowh/.
I wonder how many Impatiens in the Himalaya have stipular glands?  Any characteristic of foliage which is either diagnostic of a particular species or can help to distinguish between a number of species, when a specimen is not in flower is especially useful is such a challenging genus identification-wise.  It would be helpful if members of eFI (after carefully digesting ALL the content of my ‘virtual’ guide mentioned above) who can access colonies of I.glandulifera in the Himalaya, could check if reddish roots at lower notes do exhibit an antiseptic odour as in the UK.
HAPPY READING… I CONSIDER MY ‘VIRTUAL’ GUIDE (WHICH IS IN ITS EARLY STAGES) SHOULD BE ESSENTIAL BACKGROUND READING FOR ALL EFLORAOFINDIA MEMBERS, NOT JUST CONTRIBUTORS OF IMAGES.
As for I.glandulifera, as far as I know, this species is not recorded for Nepal.  Hooker’s record published in 1842 was probably an error.  Hooker’s ‘Flora of British India’ was a decent effort for its time but woefully out-of-date (from the 19th Century) nowadays.  It is littered with errors (not to mention many species not recognised at that time) – hardly surprising how little explored and studied India’s flora was at that time.  To rely on it too heavily is unwise.  I have seen recent pages posted of Crassulaceae from Chowdhery & Wadwha’s ‘Flora of Himachal Pradesh Analysis’ …(1984) which uses the 19th Century nomenclature and taxonomic treatment of Hooker; it is in fact little more than a ABBREVIATED COPY OF CONTENT OF HOOKER’S WORK.  I have no idea what ‘Analysis’ means in this respect.  I do not possess a copy of their ‘flora’.  Perhaps a member can explain?  From the Crassulaceae pages, it seems one would be better of just referring to Hooker (his Flora is available on-line)  BUT recognising just how out-of-date it is……  I hope that Chowdhery & Wadwha gave due acknowledgement of the source of their incredibly brief descriptions – they certainly do not come from observations in Himachal Pradesh themselves nor fresh pressed specimens in Indian herbaria collected by Indian botanists since Independence – as one might reasonably image in a genuine ‘Flora’.
When making a suggestion for an identification, it really is important for eFI members to check whether the suggested species ‘fits’ in terms of prior records for a country/region and altitudinal range.  I am dismayed that few owners of ‘Flowers of the Himalaya’ EVER check this information.  Yes, significant extensions of geographic and altitudinal ranges do occur but not very often.  If e.g. what a reader of this ‘guide’ (it is NOT a ‘Flora’) thinks they have ‘matched’ to a particular species does not ‘tally’, in terms of where it grew then probably, they need to look more closely, as in all probability, what they think will be a misidentification.

Data-bases littered with misidentifications, whether they are printed check-lists or floras or on-line ones, create MAJOR problems.  The objective should always be to ENRICH not ENLARGE a data-base, whether on-line or a traditional herbarium.  What matters is not how large the number of specimens there are in a herbarium or entries in an on-line data-base but its QUALITY i.e. how many are RELIABLY IDENTIFIED.  Nowadays too many people uncritically accept what they read or see.  When one searches/’google’s the name of a plant species DO NOT TOO READILY BELIEVE THE ACCOMPANYING IMAGES ARE OF THE GENUINE ARTICLE – I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT A SIGNIFICANT PROPORTION ARE NOT.


Thank you for the elaborated insight information.

And it is so difficult for beginners like me.


Impatiens sulcata Wall.  ??

Link 1


Pl. check Impatiens glandulifera in comparison to Impatiens sulcata
To me it appears more closer to Impatiens glandulifera

Thank you … I guess you are correct ! Impatiens glandulifera Royle



Saw this along the Govindghat-Ghangaria trail, Uttarakhand in Aug 2018 somewhere near the midpoint of the trail.
Requested to please provide ID, is this Impatiens glandulifera given the club shaped pods?.

To me also appear close to images at


I guess correct ID.

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Fwd: Impatiens on the way to Chansil Pass in Kinnaur Distt of HP : 5 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (5).

Pl. confirm the species


Seems more near to Impatiens glanduliufera.


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Fwd: Impatiens thomsonii from sangla Kullu Distt of HP :  3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2).

Kindly confirm the species


efi page on Impatiens thomsonii


Size of the flower & Spur as well as the  exact shape and lengh is required to arrive at correct identity.


I don’t see enough details to recognize this Impatiens.


Impatiens glandulifera Royle  ??


Yes, possible as per images at Impatiens glandulifera



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References:

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