Friday, May 6, 2011

Anything goes with Impatiens

Impatiens balsamina

This is a very common flowering annual in the hot tropics, especially in the  Pacific side.  We call this 'kamantigue' in the Philippines. It is one of the plants which has a lot of common names. One reference has 14 and another has 10 and there are names which are not repeated in the two references, which means there are more than 14 names for this plant. With that, it is safer to call it Impatiens balsamina, for better understanding. It provides variations in color and complexity of petals. If you have just one plant in your garden in a year, you will expect a lot of them emerging when the rains come. I remember we only have a few plants in our property, but later on I see already many colors . And sometimes when plenty of seedlings emerge at the same time, we treat them as weeds or thin out the weaker ones.

Even if they seem invasive, butterflies and bees love its nectar. So they assure us of these lovely visitors in the rainy season. Then they produce lots of pods which produce a lot of seeds, and rainwater carry them in effluents to other areas. I just learned it is a useful medicinal plant. Moreover, it fascinates me that the stems, leaves and seeds can be eaten as vegetables.  Also, all parts of the plants can be also used as tea. Next rainy season i will try to taste it. Blogging certainly helped me in knowing plants which might be helpful in the future, when food becomes difficult.

If anybody has seen the violet or the blue colors, please tell me. I will not be impatient with them in our property if they are in these colors!

single petal, peach

multi-petals, red

multi-petals, silky pink

multi-petal, red (more petals than red above)

multi-petals, orange; these plants are growing as weeds in the vicinity

I joined this post to Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday



  1. They do look a bit like our common garden variety impatiens, which I gave up as a plant for my garden because it ached for so much water. Lovely and wispy.

    Nice to know about another medicinal plant - wish the knowledge were known by those in the medical profession here.

  2. They are pretty irregardless of how common. They spread and seed themselves with little help from anyone but nature. If they are moist enough, they are happy. The selection you have shown are very nice. Never munched on one though.

  3. You have such a pretty range of colours. This variety of Impatiens is not very common here in my area of the tropics ... the walleriana is definitely seen almost everywhere.

  4. I haven't seen a blue one either until I did a google search.

  5. We call it balsam plant. In mandarin it is 'feng xian hua' meaning phoenix fairy flower. My grandma call it lamp flower and it is her favourite flower. We pluck the flowers and place it on the altar as a prayer offering.

    Where's your skywatch?

  6. Hello Andrea,

    I love those balsams as well and we call them lady slippers here. They grow by the roadside in the cooler parts of my island. I think I have seen the pale blue/violet but am not too sure.The seeds are available online as well. The whites are very common too. They do add some colour and a brightness to the garden.

  7. these are lovely flowers, they look quite like our garden Impatiens

  8. thanks for reminding me that this is kamantigue. i seem to have forgotten a lot of pinoy names of plants and whatnots.

  9. Leora - maybe what you have is the same as this, but there are also other species. thanks for the comments

    Donna - hahaha, i will try to munch next time they sprouted, but i will cook or blanch first.

    Bernie - hi, the walleriana is very common here too, but they need more water than this balsamina. I actually prefer walleriana because of the spreading habit which conform to the container.

    One - yes i also saw them in the net, but mostly far from my reach.

    Autumn Belle - at least i learned that they are also useful in Chinese tradition. Am glad i posted it, now i will look at it with more respect. My Skywatch? ---tried to vary the sequence, so i can put some variety for Fridays. I intend to put it in Todays Flowers but i was a bit late there are already a lot in there.

    Helen - long time no hear from you. I hope you posted today, am sure your plants already recovered from the flood. See the misunderstandings if we will only use the common names! Lady slippers are widely and more known to be for the orchid Paphiopedillum. We also have whites, i just cant see it in my file.

    Crafty Green Poet - did you notice that the Scientific name of my photos are Impatiens balsamina, the most common name is based from the genus!

    Photo Cache - am glad i can remind you of some Pinoy things, maybe you already fully imbibed your country now! But i am sure you will not forget our language. I noticed you are also frequent visitors of ironwulf, i often go with them travelling. Thanks for your visit. I am a 'tagahanga' fan of your photography.

  10. Great photos and so interesting. They do so resemble our annual impatiens!

  11. Beautiful collection of impatiens and photos.

  12. I didn't know that butterflies like them as they are used here as annuals. Beautiful photos Andrea!!.. Michelle

  13. Pretty! So many different color options too.


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