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 centimetres 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 the 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 centimetres long. The flowers appear throughout the year.
The smooth greenish fruit capsule is up to 2.4 centimetres long and 8 mm wide, swollen in the middle and undergoes explosive dehiscence when mature.

Impatiens sodenii is the most commonly grown impatiens here in New Zealand. It has escaped cultivation and become a weed. It is common weed around Auckland and Northland. Its habitats are riparian areas, roadsides, shrublands and wastelands. It is spread by the dumping of garden waste, by plant fragments in flowing water, by the plant rooting at the nodes and by seed dispersal from its explosive seed heads. Its dense, spreading clumps prevents seedlings of native species from establishing.

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.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/