Impatiens neo-uncinata

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Researchers discovered a new species of garden balsam in Kerala and named it as Impatiens neo-uncinata.

About Impatiens neo-uncinata

  • It is a new species of Impatiens (family Balsaminaceae).
  • It has been discovered in the Western Ghats and has now been identified as a rare, wild cousin of the popular garden balsam.
  • It has been reported only from a single locality at an elevation ranging from 1,000 to 1,250 m, and that too in a very few numbers.
  • It bears morphological resemblances to Impatiens uncinata but it differsin the size of the flowers, basal and distal lobes, the dorsal petal and pollen.
  • It is a herb that grows up to 20 cm in height, with simple or branched stems. It grows in open areas of evergreen forests, particularly wetlands. Flowering and fruiting occurs from August to December.
  • The genus Impatiens has over 1000 species distributed in the tropics and sub-tropics.
  • In India, the Himalayan and the north-eastern regions account for the highest diversity of Impatiens. The southern arm of the Western Ghats stands second in that respect.

Q1: What is Balsam?

It is an aromatic resinous substance that flows from a plant, either spontaneously or from an incision; it consists of a resin dispersed in benzoic or cinnamic acid esters and is used chiefly in medicinal preparations.

Source: A serendipitous discovery that led to identification of a new species of garden balsam in Kerala