T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Impatiens sodenii (Shrub Balsam)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Asterids
Order:       Ericales
Family:      Balsaminaceae
Genus:      Impatiens
Species:     I. sodenii
Binomial name: Impatiens sodenii
Synonyms: Impatiens oliveri, Impatiens thompsonii
Common names: Shrub Balsam, Poor man's rhododendron, Oliver's touch-me-not.

Impatiens sodenii is a perennial subshrub up to 1.5 metres tall and is native to Kenya and Tanzania.
The stems are hairless, succulent and woody toward the bases. It has leaves in whorls of up to 12, especially near the ends of the branches. The leaves are widely lance-shaped, or occasionally more oblong, and have toothed edges. They are up to 18 centimeters long.
The flowers appear throughout the year. They appear singly or in pairs at the leaf-stem junction at the top of the plant. They could be pale pink or white, sometimes with darker marks, 5 petaled, about 5 cm in diameter. Upper petal crested, lateral petals fused towards base. Flower stalks 2.5-6 cm long. It has two lateral sepals which are small, green and 6-8 mm long. The lowest sepal behind the corolla tapers into a long, thin spur up to 8 centimeters long. The flowers appear throughout the year.
The smooth greenish fruit capsule is up to 2.4 centimeters long and 8 mm wide, swollen in the middle and undergoes explosive dehiscence when mature.





A greenish fruit capsule is developing.


The lowest sepal behind the corolla tapers into a long, thin spur


Topside of a leaf.


The underside of a leaf.