Impatiens parasitica Bedd., Madras J. Lit. Sci. ser. 2, 20:66, t. 7, fig. 2. 1859;
Images by Prabhu Kumar 



It is one of the only fully epiphytic species, typically found growing on moist tree trunks. Its bizarre blooms resemble little tropical parrots, with their lime green hood and bright red, curled “tail”. 

High Wavy flora 28092012 Tbn 1 ? Impatiens parasitica for validation: Please identify this plant details of which are as follows:

Date: 18/08/2012
Location:High Wavy Ranges Theni dt, Tamil nadu
Altitude:approx 5000 ft
Habitat:wild evergreen forest
Habit:epiphyte on dead or on alive trees
Height:1 to 2 feet
Leaves:as seen
Flowers:as seen
Fruits:,not seen
? Impatiens parasitica; Please validate.
Local name:Do not know

Yes …, This is Impatiens parasitica, is a fascinating, rare species found in southern part of India. It is one of the only fully epiphytic species, typically found growing on moist tree trunks. Its bizarre blooms resemble little tropical parrots, with their lime green hood and bright red, curled “tail”.

Very nice photos of I.parasitica



2 images. 6 posts by 5 authors.
Date : 18/08/2012                                                            
Location :High Wavy Ranges Theni dt, Tamil nadu
Altitude :approx 5000 ft

Habitat :wild evergreen forest
Habit :epiphyte on dead or on alive trees
Height :1 to 2 feet

Leaves :as seen
Flowers :as seen
Fruits :,not seen
Impatiens parasitica; Please validate.
Local name :Do not know
Identified by … in my mail to eflora dated 28/09/12

Looks like several different sources give the same answer – I. parasitica.
Really striking plant, probably become one of my favorites 🙂



I think it is Impatiens parasitica, correct me if I am wrong 

I think the id is correct

There was another post with I. parasitica in last week and the plant looked the same.
By the way, I am looking with hope on album with Impatiens species. It could be very useful for fast screening if you have something new or well known and common.
I think several dozen of species were pictured both in last week and earlier when plants from Valley of Flovers were pictured, so at least these surely recognized could be included.



FLORA PICTURE OF THE YEAR 2014 : 15 posts by 14 authors. Attachments (1)

Please find my flora picture of 2015.
A beautiful Balsam (Impatiens parasitica Bedd.) of the family Balsaminaceae. The photo taken from Minnampara hills of Nelliyampathy forest, Palakkad during August 2014. The species is strictly endemic to southern region of Western Ghats.

Oh! Wah!

Too good …

Please give some information about this plant that could be added along with the picture in the final webpage.

Excellent Shot … Delicious treat to eyes.

A rare beauty in all regards, thanks for sharing …

Please find some more photos and description of Impatiens parasitica. Thanks to all for your nice words and support.
Balsams or “jewel weeds” are the plants bearing beautiful flowers comprising the family Balsaminaceae about 1000 species mainly distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of the old world as well as in the Northern temperate regions. In India, the genus is represented by more than 210 taxa, among this, more than 106 species of Impatiens are endemic to the Western Ghats, nearly 90 taxa are endangered. Nilgiri phyto-geographical region have second highest concentration of Impatiens in the Western Ghats with 30 species of which 21 are endemics.

Impatiens parasitica is a fascinating, rare and fully epiphytic species described from Western Ghats by Beddome in 1859. It is parasitic on trees but it doesn’t actually feed off trees. I have collected this specie from more than 7 different forest regions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu states. This photos I have taken recently from Minnamapara hills of Nelliyampathy forest in Palakkad district. The Palakkad district of Kerala is a biodiversity rich area in which, Silent Valley, Nelliyampathy, Attappady and Dhoni hill ranges are situated. Many endemic and endangered species are reported so far from here. No doubt there are a good deal more waiting to be discovered.
Typically this species is found growing on moist tree trunks; its bizarre blooms resemble little tropical parrots, with their lime green hood and bright red, curled “tail”. They appear in large numbers all throughout the year. The stems of this evergreen species are very thick and succulent, and look like wood. The blooms are also clustered at the ends and are suspended above the leaves to attract pollinators.
Epiphytic, annual, monoliformherbs; stem branched pale green-red. Leaves crowded towards the apex of stem; glabrous, pale green or pale red, lamina ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, acute at apex, obtuse to cuneate at base, glabrous on both sides. Inflorescence 1–4 flowered raceme; bracts linear-lanceolate, acute, glabrous, flower greenish-yellow with crimson-red tinge; lateral sepals, linear-lanceolate or linear-ovate, acute to acuminate, glabrous, green above, greenish-white below; standard erect, greenish-yellow, glabrous, wings green or pale green,lip saccate,deep crimson-red tinged, glabrous, wrinkled, with a prominent hook at mouth. Column connate; anthers pale yellow; filaments white. Pistil broadly ellipsoid, acute at apex, glabrous. Capsule elliptic-lanceolate, acute, glabrous, pale green. Seeds ellipsoid, numerous, brown. The phenology is observed during June-October 
In the wild, a tree covered with these plants can be a most spectacular sight to the eyes 

Very nice pictures … The colours of flower are mesmerizing. Never seen such balsam flower.

Wow they look cool. Pleasure to watch.

Wow, superb find and great photographs..

what a lovely reply, complete with story and the plants pictures
thank you for responding to my query
appreciate it and I am sure we are all a little richer for it.

Really a wonderful image. Never seen till date. Thanks for showing.


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