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Impatiens balsamina

Image of Impatiens balsamina

Order: Ericales
Family: Balsaminaceae
Common name: Dupati, Dupatia, Dopatta(Beng.); Garden balsam(Eng.).
Life cycle: Annual
Native Range: Native to southern Asia in India and Myanmar

Impatiens balsamina is an annual plant growing to 20–75 cm tall, with a thick, but soft stem. Their leaves are spirally-arranged, 2.5–9 cm long and 1–2.5 cm broad, with a deeply toothed margin. Their flowers are red, pink, purple, or white, and 2.5–5 cm diameter; they are pollinated by bees and other insects, and also by nectar-feeding birds.

Different parts of the plant are used to treat disease and skin afflctions; their leaves, seeds, and stems are also edible if cooked. Juice from balsam leaves treats warts and also snakebite, while the flower can be applied to burns to cool the skin.