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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

Balsaminaceae, the Touch-me-not Family

1. Impatiens L. --Touch-me-not


Erect to spreading, glabrous annuals with shallow weak roots and hollow, succulent stems. Leaves simple, alternate, exstipulate, the blades shallowly and often remotely serrate. Flowers perfect, irregular, yellow to orange-yellow, often reddish-brown spotted, pouchlike and spurred, hanging on the pedicels in few-flowered axillary racemes; sepals 3, petaloid, membranous, the upper 2 small, broadly obovate, cuspidate, the lower 1 large, saccate and spurred, broadly funnel-shaped, the spur usually recurved; petals 3, the upper petal often broader than long, the 2 lateral petals 2-lobed, each apparently derived by the fusion of a pair of petals; stamens 5, the anthers united around the stigma; ovary superior, 5-celled, each cell containing several ovules. Fruit a 5-valved, fusiform capsule, explosively dehiscent at maturity, scattering the seeds for some distance when jarred or touched.

Lead Characteristic Go To
1 Flowers orange-yellow, usually reddish-brown spotted; spur recurved parallel to the sac and 1/3 to 1/2 its length, the sac conic, longer than wide. I. capensis
1 Flowers pale yellow, only faintly spotted if at all; spur recurved at a right angle to the sac and 1/5 to 1/4 its length, the sac broadly obtuse, about as wide or wider than long. I. pallida


33. Balsaminaceae, the Touch-me-not Family
1. Impatiens L. -- Touch-me-not
1. Impatiens capensis Meerb. -- Spotted touch-me-not
2. Impatiens pallida Nutt. -- Pale touch-me-not


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