NATIVE RANGE: Southern Asia (Himalaja)
FIRST FINDING IN SLOVENIA: 1935
PATHWAYS: horticulure, also planted for honeybees
POSSIBLE TO FIND: April – November
FLOWERING SEASON: July – October
DESCRIPTION: A tall annual plant with a hollow, glabrous, jointed, fleshy stem. Leaves are opposite, in the upper part in whorls of three and are ovate to lanceolate with serrated margins. Leaf stalks bear several thick glandular hairs. Flowers are 2–4 cm wide, borne in racemes with purple or pink (sometimes almost white) petals. The two side petals are fused into a hood, the other three are single. Spur enlarged in the first part, tapering towards a narrow end. Fruits are capsules with multiple seeds. Ripe fruits split open, explosively discharging their seeds.
HABITAT: Growing on river banks, ditches, shady sites on the edge of meadows, moist forests and floodplain areas.
STATUS: Widespread all over Europe but practically absent in the Mediterranean area. Common and widespread in lowland and hilly parts of Slovenia, most abundant in the eastern and central parts of the country.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Balfour’s touch-me-not (Impatiens balfourii), another ornamental balsam species, is found increasingly often in nature. The flower is bi-coloured, with a lighter upper half and with a gradually tapering spur. Garden balsam (Impatiens balsamina) has a very narrow spur which is inflexed in its terminal section.
NOTE: this species is included in the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern (the Union list) of Regulation (EU) 1143/2014. The species included on the Union list are subject to restrictions and measures set out in the Regulation. These include restrictions on keeping, importing, selling, breeding and growing. Member States are required to take action on pathways of unintentional introduction, to take measures for the early detection and rapid eradication of these species, and to manage species that are already widely spread in their territory.