Impatiens Balsamina aka Garden Balsam

in gems •  last month  (edited)

This is the Impatiens balsamina, commonly known as garden balsam or rose balsam.
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Balsam flowers come in many colours - pink, red, lilac, purple, white... They bloom all year round. The leaves have a tooth edge, but they are soft so you don't have to worry about them. The ripe seed pods undergo explosive dehiscence - a ballistic form of dispersal that flings seeds or spores far from the parent plant. That's how new plants grow.
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Balsam plants are easy to grow. They need minimum care. Scatter their seeds and before long they will germinate.

In the picture, you can see a pod has formed. At the bottom of the picture, you see more young pods containing the seeds. When the pods ripen, they will 'explode' and the seeds will be scattered.
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Growing up in the village, we see plenty of these flowers all over the place. As children, we like to look for ripening pods on the plant. Carefully, we would pluck them, give them a squeeze and watch the seeds 'explode' out of the pod.

This plant is said to have many medicinal uses. From the list of uses listed, the balsam plant sounds like a wonder plant every household must have. Extracts from the stem, leaves and flowers can be used for some kind of treatment - from skin afflictions to warts, snakebite, burns, rheumatism, constipation and gastritis.

It is said that in some countries, people use the extract of the plant to wash their hair and to stimulate hair growth. In other countries, they crush the flowers and mix them with alum to produce orange dye for finger nails.

This plant doesn't look very healthy. But it is doing well considering that it popped up from a gap between the fence and the cement.
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Interesting. I don’t see these plants over here. It would be nice if they are edible! LoL

They are known to be medicinal. But, I don't know if they are edible. :-)

👍

Thanks. :-)

:-)