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Bernieh's Garden

Impatiens Walleriana or Busy Lizzie

Genus: Impatiens.

Species: Impatiens walleriana.

Common name: Balsam, Buzy Lizzie
Botanic name: Impatiens Walleriana
Genus: Balsaminaceae - includes some 850 species of annuals, perennials, and subshrubs

Balsam are generally erect plants with soft fleshy stems and simple, pointed, lance-shaped leaves that often have toothed edges. The flowers occur in many different colors, appear throughout the year in mild areas, and have 5 petals - comprised of an upper standard and the lower 4 fused into 2 pairs. The sepals are also partly fused to form a spur. The flowers are followed by seed pods that, when ripe, explosively eject their contents at the slightest touch.

The annuals are grown as summer plants in cooler climates; the perennials are fairly tender and need mild winters. They should be planted in a shady position in deep, cool, moist, humus-rich soil. Water and feed well to encourage strong growth. Propagate annuals from seed and perennials from cuttings. Some species self-sow and may be invasive.

Photos of this plant

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