Impatiens lemannii Hook. fil. & Thoms., J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot. 4: 154 1860. (syn: Impatiens harrissii Hook. fil.);
Common name: Lemann’s Balsam

Annual herbs, about 20-50 cm tall. Stems erect, simple or sparsely branched, glabrous. Leaves alternate, broadly ovate to suborbicular, about 1.5-5 x 1-3.5 cm across, base cuneate or somewhat rounded, margins crenate with few stipitate glands, apex acute, membranous, lateral veins about 5-6 on either side of the midrib, green above and paler beneath, minutely pubescent both above and beneath, petiole slender, about 1-3 cm long, longer in lower and middle leaves, exstipulate. Inflorescence resupinate, supra-axillary or subterminal, 1-3 flowered. Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic, about 2.5 cm across, pedicel slender, about 1.5-2.5 cm long, bracts ovate-lanceolate, apex acuminate, persistent, about 3-4 mm long, sepals 3, imbricate, 2 lateral ones flat, small, ovate, apex obtuse, membranous, about 3-4.5 mm long, posterior sepal (Lip) large, petaloid, navicular, about 10-12 mm long, spurred, spur curved or straight, upper standard petal, keeled or cucullate, orbicular, with an appendage, about 12 mm long, lateral ones (wings or alae), fused in pairs, basal lobes narrow triangular, apex acute or subacute, distal lobes transversely ovate to ovate-elliptic. Stamens 5, anthers bi-locular. Ovary 5 locular, superior. Fruit indehiscent, capsule, narrow fusiform or subclavate, swollen in the middle, about 1.3 cm long, glabrous. Seeds globose or oblong, about 2.5-3 mm across, rugose, glabrous.
Eastern and Western Himalayas.
Afghanistan, India: Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Pakistan.
(Attributions- Ganeshaiah, K. N., UAS, Bangalore, India. Kailash, B. R., ATREE, Bangalore, India. Royal Norwegian Embassy grants. Indian Bioresource Information Network (IBIN), Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi, India)


Impatiens spp. ABJUN01/11 : 13 posts by 4 authors. 5 images.
This pink balsam is slightly smaller than the I. scabrida. I found a few plants on my Sunday walk. I am not sure if this is I. bicolor. Please advise.
Above Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, HP
26 June 2016

This is a very confusing & big genus. Pl. check with comparative images at Impatiens

Thank you … The closest match seems to be the I. devendrae. Hopefully an expert will comment.

Thanks, …, for the Id. I think it matches well with images at Impatiens devendrae

Thanks, … To me Impatiens balfourii looks different at your given link:
Also see Impatiens balfourii at

These are all different from posted plant.

Request you to look at the side view of the flower, particularly the spur and the sepal before it, to compare with I. devendrae and I. balfourii.

After a careful look, I am of the opinion that my sample is neither. I. balfourii has lower petals larger (more spread) than the dorsal ones (front view) unlike my sample and looking from the front I. devendrae fits the bill more. The spur is more like the balfourii. Unless there is great variation within the species, it is difficult to choose between these two.
I found an old picture from 31 August, 2014 showing the front view and is likely to be of the same species as my current sample.

1 image.

This is Impatiens confusa! Just joking! This indeed is a confusing plant.  Thank you … for your views.  Your latest picture, if it is of the same species, adds to the confusion. I am inclined to believe that the latest picture belongs to a different species. However, these are my speculations, not to be taken too seriously. I would be happy if somebody can shed more light on it.

Thank you … I can add this to the list of difficult genera along with the Viola and Cynoglossum. I am hopeful though that one day we will resolve this confusion.

As far as I know, this is not I. bicolor, of which typical form is clearly pink and yellow (upper petal and upper part of lateral petals pink, lower part of lateral petals yellow). This is also not I. balfourii as I know it from European populations – to much yellow markings on petals and lower sepal.
Similar situation with I. devendrae – in original description there are some rusty/ orange/ brick colored markings on petals, but these are much smaller.

In conclusion, I don’t know exactly what it is, as I don’t know whole variability of balsams in Western Himalayas.

Thank you very much … for taking the time to explain this.

Here are some additional photos of seedpods, seeds and leaf serrations with glands. Hopefully it will help us closer to an ID. 5 images.

Still no conclusion.

I hope to get pictures of some Impatiens from Pakistan, may be this will help to recognize this one…

Impatiens lemannii Hook.fil. & Thomson ??

Yes appears close to images of Impatiens lemannii at Flowers of India.

Beautiful images! And yes, I think it is Impatiens lemannii, a rarely photographed Balsam of the Himalaya.

Yes it is surely something from I. lemannii complex however the case is not as simple as it may look initially.
As Impatiens lemannii Hook.f. & Thomson is described based on Griffith’s collection from Ottipore, Afghanistan far away from Himachal Pradesh. In Flora Iranica C.Grey-Wilson treated this species having three infraspecific taxa viz. I. lemannii subsp. lemannii var. lemannii, I. lemannii subsp. lemannii var. multiflora Grey-Wilson and  I. lemannii subsp. kurramensis Grey-Wilson showing complexity of this species. Additionally this is not rare in fact its abundant in its locality (it may be been less known as it’s distribution is in much West and is possibly not found in East of Himachal Pradesh and beyond).
For now we may treat it as Impatiens cf. lemannii Hook.f. & Thomson, i am hopefull that i will have a better clear answer by next year as we (…) are already working to resolve this another Impatiens complex.



References: POWO  Catalogue of Life  The Plant List Ver.1.1  IPNI  GBIF (High resolution specimens) Flora of Pakistan  FOP illustration  Flowers of India  India Biodiversity Portal  IBIS Flora Plant illustrations

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