Impatiens

Impatiens

About Impatiens

Impatiens is a genus of about 8501,000 species of flowering plants, widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere and tropics. Together with Hydrocera triflora, impatiens make up the family Balsaminaceae. Common names include impatiens, jewelweeds, touch-me-nots, and, for I. walleriana) in Great Britain, 'Busy Lizzie', as well as, ambiguously, balsams. As a rule-of-thumb, 'jewelweed' is used exclusively for Nearctic species, 'balsam' is usually applied to tropical species, and 'touch-me-not' is typically used in Europe and North America). Some species are annual plants and produce flowers from early summer until the first frost, while perennial species, found in milder climates, can flower all year. Regardless of their lifespan, the largest impatiens grow up to about 2 meters (c. 7 ft) tall, but most are less than half as tall. The leaves are entire and shiny; their upperside has a thick, water-repellent cuticula that gives them a greasy feel.

Contributions by ABC Impatiens, MPF, and Pkhun.