3-10 Balsaminaceae, touch-me-not family

Marian C. Munro, Ruth E. Newell, Nicholas M. Hill


Two genera are included in this small family of succulent herbs. Leaves are simple, lobed or toothed, with pinnate veins. The irregular flowers are perfect and twisted, so that they are pendulous. Sepals are three, the lowermost pouch-shaped and reflexed to form a spur, containing a nectary. The irregular corolla is made up of five fused petals. The uppermost is distinct, while the lower  is lobed. Five stamens unite to form a cap over the ovary, of 4–5 carpels. Fruit is an explosive dehiscent capsule or a drupe. Photographs by Marian Munro, Martin Thomas. Sean Blaney and David Mazerolle.


Magnoliophyte, touch-me-not family, dicot, touch-me-not, Impatiens, jewelweed

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