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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 3/13/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 3/13/2013)
Family BALSAMINACEAE
Contributor THOMAS S. ELIAS
Description Herbs, rarely shrubby, annual or perennial, occasionally epiphytic or aquatic; stems usually succulent and often swollen at the nodes, glabrous or with simple hairs. Leaves simple, alternate, opposite, verticillate or spirally arranged, the mar- gins entire, crenulate, serrate or denticulate, occasionally with tentacular hairs on the apex of the crenations, usually petiolate, often with marginal petiolate hairs; stipules absent. Inflorescences usually axillary, rarely of terminal racemes, pseudo- umbels, fascicles, or flowers solitary. Flowers zygomorphic, perfect, brightly colored, sometimes cleistogamous; sepals 3, rarely 5, often colored, deciduous, imbricate, un- equal, the lateral sepals varied, usually small, green or colored, the lowermost or posterior sepal elongated, tubular, often saccate or conic, usually with a tapering spur; petals 5, rarely free or 3 by union of 2 pairs of lateral and posterior petals, the lateral petals usually deeply 2-lobed, variable in shape, the upper or anterior one exterior, usually erect, always large, flat or helmet-shaped; stamens 5, alternate with the petals, the filaments short and thickened, connate near the apex; anthers 2-thecate, connate around the ovary; ovary superior, 5-locular with axile placenta- tion; stigmas 1-5, more or less sessile; ovules so, pendulous, anatropous. Fruit a succulent capsule, dehiscing elastically into 5 twisted valves, rarely a berry; seeds with a dorsal raphe, without endosperm.
Habit Herbs shrubby
Distribution Mainly of tropical Asia and Africa; the family is composed of the large genus Impatiens (more than 500 described species) and the monotypic genus Hydrocera of Indo-Malaysia.
 
 
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