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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 937. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: By far the largest genus with c. 900 species; chiefly found in tropical Asia and Africa, the Himalayas in India & Pakistan. Poorly represented in Europe and N. America.


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Annual or perennial herbs. Leaves exstipulate or with a pair of stipitate or sessile glands at base of petiole. Flowers solitary, axillary or terminal in simple racemes, subcorymbs or subumbles. The 2 lateral sepals small and greenish (in our species), the lower sepal petaloid with the spur usually well-developed, straight or curved. Anterior petal large, usually dorsally carinate. Lobes of lateral petal acute or obtuse. Capsule dehiscence septifragal, with the valves coiling up and inwards. Seeds glabrous or not.

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1 Capsule cylindrical to subclavate, glabrous to sparsely pubescent, nodding or erect (2)
+ Capsule broadly elliptic to fusiform, densely tomentose, pendulous. Impatiens balsamina
2 (1) Capsule erect (3)
+ Capsule nodding (8)
3 (2) Flowers pink-white or yellow or a mixture of both, more than 12 mm long; spur well-developed (4)
+ Flowers white, 4-6 mm long, almost spurless Impatiens brachycentra
4 (3) Leaves crenate or crenate-dentate. Flowers yellow or pink-yellow, sometimes streaked red. Spur curved (5)
+ Leaves sharply serrate. Flowers pink-white (sometimes suffused with yellow). Spur straight (7)
5 (4) Stem, leaves and capsule glabrous. Bracteoles absent (6)
+ Stem, leaves and capsule puberulous-glabrous. Bracteoles present Impatiens scabrida
6 (5) Flowers yellow. Lower sepal conical to funnel shaped, tapering into a spur, 1-1.2 cm long Impatiens edgeworthii
+ Flowers pink and yellow. Lower sepal broad conical (in typical forms), ending in a spur less than 1 cm Impatiens bicolor
7 (4) Stem and lower sepal of flower 18-27 mm long, flowers pink-white with some yellow. Capsule 20-24 mm long Impatiens balfourii
+ Spur and lower sepal of flower 8-15 (-18) mm long; flowers pink-white only. Capsule up to 12 mm long Impatiens flemingii
8 (2) Plants 100 cm or more tall, robust. Flowers pink-red, or red-purple and yellow (9)
+ Plants up to 50(-35) cm tall, not robust. Flowers pink, or pink-white and yellow (10)
9 (8) Upper leaves verticillate and serrate. Capsule broadly clavate, 1.4-1.8 cm long Impatiens glandulifera
+ Upper leaves alternate and crenate. Capsule cylindrical, up to 3 cm long Impatiens sulcata
10 (8) Upper petal of the fused petal pair without an appendage (11)
+ Upper petal of the fused petal pair with a short appendage Impatiens thomsonii
11 (10) Leaf serrations blackish (in dried specimens). Flowers pink. Lower sepal with spur c. 13 mm, spur straight. Anterior petal orbicular. cuneate; lateral fused petal pair 10-11 mm long, the lower much prolonged Impatiens meeboldii
+ Leaf serrations not black. Flowers pink, white and yellow. Lower sepal with spur 19-24 mm, spur curved. Anterior petal orbicular, retuse; lateral fused petal pair c. 19 mm long, the lower some-times retuse Impatiens lemannii
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