Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Impatiens balsamina
(garden balsam)

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Datasheet

Impatiens balsamina (garden balsam)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 03 January 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Impatiens balsamina
  • Preferred Common Name
  • garden balsam
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Impatiens balsamina is an annual herb thought to be native to India and Myanmar. It has been widely introduced outside of its native range as an ornamental to Europe, Asia, the Americas, Oceania and some parts...

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    Compendia
    CAB International
    Wallingford
    Oxfordshire
    OX10 8DE
    UK
    compend@cabi.org
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Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Impatiens balsamina L.

Preferred Common Name

  • garden balsam

Other Scientific Names

  • Balsamina angustifolia Blume
  • Balsamina coccinea (Sims) DC.
  • Balsamina cornuta (L.) DC.
  • Balsamina foeminea Gaertn.
  • Balsamina hortensis Desp.
  • Balsamina lacca Medik.
  • Balsamina minutiflora Span.
  • Balsamina mollis G.Don
  • Balsamina odorata Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don
  • Balsamina racemosa Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don
  • Balsamina salicifolia Bojer ex Baker
  • Impatiens coccinea Sims
  • Impatiens cornuta L.
  • Impatiens eriocarpa Launert
  • Impatiens stapfiana Gilg

International Common Names

  • English: balsam; impatiens; rose balsam; spotted snapweed; touch-me-not
  • Spanish: balsamina; chachupina; chico; madama; mírame-lindo
  • French: balsamine des jardins; impatiente
  • Chinese: feng xian hua
  • Portuguese: beijo de frade
  • German: gartenspringkraut

Local Common Names

  • Brunei Darussalam: banga pacar; bungar pecar
  • Cuba: espuela; espuela de gallo; jardines
  • Dominican Republic: capricho; espolines; espuela de caballero; espuelilla; espuelina; espuelines
  • India: dopati; dushparijati; tatur; terada
  • Indonesia: laka gofu; pacar air; pacar banyu
  • Japan: tsuri-fune-so
  • Korea, DPR: bongseonhwa
  • Lesser Antilles: gekweekt
  • Malaysia: bungatabo; inai ayer; keembong
  • Myanmar: dau dalet
  • Philippines: kamantigi; solonga
  • Puerto Rico: espuela de galán
  • Saint Lucia: busy-lizzie
  • Thailand: thian baan; thian suan; thiandok

EPPO code

  • IPABA (Impatiens balsamina)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Impatiens balsamina is an annual herb thought to be native to India and Myanmar. It has been widely introduced outside of its native range as an ornamental to Europe, Asia, the Americas, Oceania and some parts of tropical Africa. It has escaped from cultivation and become naturalized in disturbed sites and semi-natural habitats including secondary forests and forest edges. It spreads by seed and also vegetatively by stem fragments and can form dense stands in forest understory inhibiting germination and the establishment of seedlings, displacing native plant species. It is thought to be invasive to many tropical and subtropical islands in Oceania and the Caribbean as well as Costa Rica, Peru, the Galapagos Islands, the Philippines and parts of India.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Balsaminales
  •                         Family: Balsaminaceae
  •                             Genus: Impatiens
  •                                 Species: Impatiens balsamina

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Balsaminaceae is a family comprising only two genera and 1001 species of fleshy herbs with more or less translucent stems, swollen nodes and usually spiral, toothed leaves. While the genus Impatiens is very diverse and includes about 1000 species, the genus Hydrocera is monotypic, containing the single species Hydrocera triflora, native to South India, Sri Lanka, Peninsular Malaysia, Java, and the Celebes (Gupta, 2011). Species within the genus Impatiens are distributed primarily across Africa (especially Madagascar) and tropical and subtropical montane forests of South East Asia (Janssens et al., 2009; Stevens, 2012).

Impatiens balsamina is very variable in size, pubescence and flower colour and several varieties and cultivars have been developed (Flora of Pakistan, 2018).

Description

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The following description is from Flora Mesoamericana (2018) and Flora of China Editorial Committee (2018):

Annual herbs, 60-100 cm; stems erect, succulent, not or sparsely branched, glabrous, often pubescent when young. Leaves alternate, the lowermost occasionally pseudo-opposite, sessile or shortly petiolate; petioles 2-13 mm; blades 2.7-9 x 1.1-2.6 cm, lanceolate to narrowly-elliptic or oblanceolate, glabrous or finely pubescent above and below, the base cuneate-acuminate, the margins serrate-dentate, with several dark sessile glands towards the base of the blade, the apex acute. Inflorescences of solitary flowers or groups of 2-3 flowers; peduncles absent; bracts 2 x 1 mm, axillary at the base of the pedicel; pedicels 7-16 mm. Flowers white or pink; lateral sepals 2-3 mm, narrowly ovate-lanceolate, the apex acute; lower sepal 13-19 mm, 0.4-0.8 cm deep, deeply navicular, abruptly constricted into a spur, the spur 1.3-2.4 cm, filiform, incurved in the distal half, glabrous or finely pubescent; upper petal 10-14 x 7-11 mm, apically pointed with an appendage 2-4 mm; lateral petals 23-35 mm, fully united, unevenly bilobed, the upper petal of each lateral pair smaller than the lower; ovary densely pubescent. Capsules 12-20 x 6-8 mm, pendent, broadly fusiform, densely pubescent, the hairs white. Seeds many, black-brown, globose, 1.5-3 mm in diameter, tuberculate.

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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The native distribution range of I. balsamina is uncertain. However, it is probably native to India and Myanmar (USDA-ARS, 2018) and is recorded as both native and introduced in Sri Lanka (Flora of Pakistan, 2018; India Biodiversity Portal, 2018). It is cultivated as an ornamental and naturalized across Europe, parts of tropical Africa and much of tropical and temperate Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean and many islands in the Pacific Ocean (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018; Flora Mesoamericana, 2018; Flora of Pakistan, 2018; GRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018; PROTA, 2018; USDA-ARS, 2018). It is recorded as invasive in the Philippines, parts of India, Costa Rica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Galapagos, Peru, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Tonga (Ochoa and Andrade, 2003; Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008; Chacón and Saborío, 2012; Chandra Sekar, 2012; Oviedo Prieto and González-Oliva, 2015; Rojas-Sandoval and Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2015; PIER, 2018).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ArmeniaPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
British Indian Ocean TerritoryPresentIntroducedPIER, 2018
ChinaPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2018Widely cultivated
Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)PresentIntroducedPIER, 2018Cultivated
IndiaPresentNativeReddy, 2008; Chandra Sekar, 2012; India Biodiversity Portal, 2018; USDA-ARS, 2018Both native and introduced in the country. Also considered invasive in some areas
-Andhra PradeshPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-AssamPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-BiharPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-ChhattisgarhPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-GujaratPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-Himachal PradeshPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-KarnatakaPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-KeralaPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-Madhya PradeshPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-MaharashtraPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-ManipurPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-MeghalayaPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-MizoramPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-OdishaPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-RajasthanPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-Tamil NaduPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-TripuraPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-Uttar PradeshPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
-West BengalPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
IndonesiaPresentIntroducedvan Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001Cultivated
JapanPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
Korea, DPRPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
Korea, Republic ofPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
LaosPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
MalaysiaPresent
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentIntroducedFlora of Pakistan, 2018Cultivated
MyanmarPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2018
NepalPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
PakistanPresentIntroducedFlora of Pakistan, 2018Cultivated
PhilippinesPresentIntroduced Invasive GRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018
SingaporePresentIntroducedChong et al., 2009Cultivated
Sri LankaPresentFlora of Pakistan, 2018; India Biodiversity Portal, 2018Reported as both native and introduced in the country
TaiwanPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
ThailandPresentIntroducedvan Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001Cultivated
TurkeyPresentIntroducedFlora of Pakistan, 2018Cultivated
VietnamPresentIntroducedvan Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001Cultivated
YemenPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018

Africa

CameroonPresentPROTA, 2018
Sao Tome and PrincipePresentIntroducedFigueiredo et al., 2011
SeychellesPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018

North America

CanadaPresentIntroducedDarbyshire, 2003Cultivated. Garden escape
MexicoPresentIntroducedFlora Mesoamericana, 2018
USAPresentIntroduced
-AlabamaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-FloridaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedPIER, 2018
-IllinoisPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-IndianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-KentuckyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-MichiganPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-MissouriPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-New JerseyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-New YorkPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-OhioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-VirginiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-West VirginiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018
-WisconsinPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2018

Central America and Caribbean

BarbadosPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007Naturalized
Costa RicaPresentIntroduced Invasive Chacón and Saborío, 2012; GRIIS, 2018
CubaPresentIntroduced Invasive Oviedo Prieto and González-Oliva, 2015; GRIIS, 2018
DominicaPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007Naturalized
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Naturalized
GuadeloupePresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007Naturalized
GuatemalaPresentIntroducedFlora Mesoamericana, 2018
HaitiPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Naturalized
HondurasPresentIntroducedFlora Mesoamericana, 2018
JamaicaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Naturalized
MartiniquePresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007Naturalized
MontserratPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007Naturalized
NicaraguaPresentIntroducedFlora Mesoamericana, 2018
PanamaPresentIntroducedFlora Mesoamericana, 2018
Puerto RicoPresentIntroduced Invasive Rojas-Sandoval and Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2015; USDA-NRCS, 2018
Saint LuciaPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
Sint EustatiusPresentIntroducedBroome, 2018Naturalized
United States Virgin IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Rojas-Sandoval and Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2015

South America

BoliviaPresentIntroducedBolivia Catalogue, 2018Cultivated
BrazilPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
ColombiaPresentIntroducedIdarraga et al., 2011; GRIIS, 2018
EcuadorPresentIntroducedCatalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador, 2018
-Galapagos IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008
French GuianaPresentIntroducedDelnatte and Meyer, 2012
GuyanaPresentIntroducedFunk et al., 2007
PeruPresentIntroduced Invasive Ochoa and Andrade, 2003; GRIIS, 2018
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedHokche et al., 2008

Europe

AlbaniaPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
AustriaPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2018; GRIIS, 2018
CroatiaPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2018; GRIIS, 2018
Czech RepublicPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2018; GRIIS, 2018
FrancePresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2018; GRIIS, 2018
GermanyPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
HungaryPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2018
ItalyPresentIntroducedCelesti-Grapow et al., 2010Casual
NorwayPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
PolandPresentIntroducedGalera and Ratynska, 1999
PortugalPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
-AzoresPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2018Naturalized
-MadeiraPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2018Naturalized
RomaniaPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2018; GRIIS, 2018
Russian FederationPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
SlovakiaPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
SpainPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2018
SwedenPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018
UKPresentIntroducedClement and Foster, 1994Cultivated

Oceania

FijiPresentIntroducedPIER, 2018
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2018
GuamPresentIntroducedPIER, 2018
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018
NauruPresentIntroducedPIER, 2018
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2018
New ZealandPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2018
NiuePresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroducedPIER, 2018
PalauPresentIntroducedGRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018
Papua New GuineaPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2018
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive GRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018
TongaPresentIntroduced Invasive GRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018

History of Introduction and Spread

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From its probable native origin in India, I. balsamina has spread throughout South East Asia and China and has since spread worldwide through its cultivation (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018). This species has been cultivated as an ornamental in Europe since the 16th century (Adamowski, 2008; IPK Gatersleben, 2018). In Puerto Rico, this species was first collected in 1899 (Rojas-Sandoval and Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2015).

Risk of Introduction

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Because I. balsamina is widely commercialized as an ornamental and potted plant in the horticultural trade, the risk of new introductions of this species is very high. Additionally, this species has the potential to escape from cultivation and become naturalized in the wild (Flora Mesoamericana, 2018).

Habitat

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I. balsamina grows at elevations from close to sea level up to 3500 m. This species is commonly cultivated as an ornamental in gardens across tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Where it has escaped cultivation, it can be found naturalized along roads, in rubbish dumps, fields, forest edges, grasslands, streambeds and other disturbed open places. It is also a common weed in wastelands near villages, dwellings and cemeteries (van Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001; Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador, 2018; Flora Mesoamericana, 2018; India Biodiversity Portal, 2018; PFAF, 2018; PIER, 2018).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for I. balsamina is 2n = 14 (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018). The cytological variation within the genus Impatiens is considerable with many species showing bimodal karyotypes (Song et al., 2003).

Reproductive Biology

The flowers of I. balsamina are protandrous. As the anther walls break down and retract, the cellulose threads produced hold the exposed pollen in a lattice, from which the pollinating insects can then collect it (Vogel and Cocucci, 1988).

Physiology and Phenology

In China, I. balsamina flowers from July to October (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018). In India, it flowers and fruits from March to October. In Nicaragua, and other tropical regions, this species flowers and fruits throughout the year (van Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001; Flora of Nicaragua, 2018).

Environmental Requirements

I. balsamina grows best in full sun to shade on well-drained but moist soils. It can grow on a wide range of soil types including clay, sandy and loamy soils with pH in the range 5.6-7.5. This species does not tolerate frost (Gilman and Howe, 1999; PFAF, 2018). In cultivation, seeds can be sown directly into the garden. Germination takes about 8 to 14 days. The optimum temperature for germination is 25-28°C, and for the seedlings a night temperature of about 20°C is needed (Gilman and Howe, 1999; van Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
40 45 0 3500

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 10 28

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Diabrotica undecimpunctata Herbivore Adults/Inflorescence not specific
Impatiens necrotic spot virus Pathogen Whole plant not specific
Lygus lineolaris Herbivore Whole plant not specific
Podosphaera fuliginea Pathogen Whole plant not specific
Pythium Pathogen Seedlings not specific
Rhizoctonia Pathogen Seedlings not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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In cultivation, I. balsamina is impacted by insects. Aphids feed on plant sap causing distorted growth, the spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata) feeds on blossom and the tarnished plant bug (Lygus lineolaris) feeds on new shoots causing them to turn black (Gilman and Howe, 1999). Species in the genus Impatiens are susceptible to powdery mildew caused by Podosphaera fuliginea. Fungal blights and rots, bacterial leaf spot and viruses (e.g. impatiens necrotic spot virus) are also common problems. Species of Pythium and Rhizoctonia may cause damping-off in seedlings (van Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001).

The fungal disease downy mildew is caused by the pathogen Plasmopara obducens, and has been recorded in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia infecting a number of wild and cultivated Impatiens species, including I. walleriana and I. balsamina (Jones and O’Neill, 2004; Cunnington et al., 2006).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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I. balsamina spreads by seed. However, stem fragments may readily take root.

The fruit is an explosively-dehiscent capsule with the walls in-rolling from the base. Seeds are dispersed when they are ejected from the capsule with an initial velocity of up to 4 m/s. Seeds can be secondarily dispersed by wind and water and as a contaminant on topsoil (van Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001; Stevens, 2012; Flora Mesoamericana, 2018; PIER, 2018).

Intentional Introduction

I. balsamina is a popular ornamental plant that has been widely introduced across tropical and subtropical regions of the world (Flora Mesoamericana, 2018; PIER, 2018; USDA-ARS, 2018).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Disturbance Yes Yes Flora Mesoamericana, 2018
Escape from confinement or garden escape Yes Yes Flora Mesoamericana, 2018
Garden waste disposalNaturalized in rubbish dumps Yes Yes Flora Mesoamericana, 2018
HorticultureWidely commercialized as an ornamental and potted plant Yes Yes van Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001
Medicinal useTraditional Asian medicine Yes Yes van Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001
Nursery trade Yes Yes van Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001
Ornamental purposes Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2018

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesNaturalized in rubbish dumps Yes Yes Flora Mesoamericana, 2018
MailSeeds sold online Yes Yes ,
Soil, sand and gravelSeeds Yes Yes van Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001
WaterSeeds Yes Yes van Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001
WindSeeds Yes Yes van Valkenburg and Bunyapraphatsara, 2001

Environmental Impact

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I. balsamina has escaped from cultivation and is now naturalized in disturbed sites, secondary forests, forest edges and riparian sites. This species can form large stands in the understory of secondary forests displacing native species and preventing the natural regeneration of these areas (Flora Mesoamericana, 2018; GRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018; PROTA, 2018).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Fast growing
  • Gregarious
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - smothering
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant

Uses

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I. balsamina is widely cultivated as an ornamental for its attractive flowers. The flowers and leaves are often used across Asia for the traditional dyeing of a woman hair, nails, hands and feet (IPK Gatersleben, 2018). The stems, leaves and oil of the seeds are used in traditional Asian medicine for promoting blood circulation and for relieving pain and sore throats (Flora Mesoamericana, 2018; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018; PROTA, 2018; USDA-ARS, 2018).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity

Materials

  • Dyestuffs

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • Potted plant
  • Seed trade

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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I. balsamina is very similar to I. sodenii and I. walleriana. These species can be distinguished by the following vegetative and floral traits (Flora Mesoamericana, 2018):

  • I. balsamina: flowers usually solitary in leaf axils; lateral petals completely united, only shallowly incised, unevenly bilobed; fruits are hairy.

  • I. sodenii: larger plant (often up to 1.5 m tall) with sessile leaves, all in dense whorls; flowers white or pale pink; older plants are suffruticose.

  • I. walleriana: flowers usually in pairs or with 3-5 flowers, rarely solitary; lateral petals almost free, equal in size, deeply incised and united only at the very base; fruits are glabrous.

Prevention and Control

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Control

Chemical Control

There is no information available for the specific control of I. balsamina, however, herbicides such as 2,4-D, triclopyr and glyphosate have been recommended to control the closely related species I. glandulifera (CABI, 2018).

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, 98. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Adamowski, W., 2008. Balsams on the offensive: the role of planting in the invasion of Impatiens species. In: Plant invasions: human perception, ecological impacts and management, [ed. by Tokarska-Guzik, B., Brock, J. H., Brundu, G., Child, L., Daehler, C. C., Pyšek, P.]. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers. 57-70.

Bolivia Catalogue, 2018. Bolivia Catalogue. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.http://www.tropicos.org/Project/BC

Broome R, Sabir K, Carrington S, 2007. Plants of the Eastern Caribbean. Online database. Barbados: University of the West Indies.http://ecflora.cavehill.uwi.edu/index.html

CABI, 2018. Impatiens glandulifera. In: Invasive Species Compendium, Wallingford, UK: CABI.https://www.cabi.org/ISC/datasheet/28766

Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador, 2018. Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.http://tropicos.org/Project/CE

Celesti-Grapow L, Pretto F, Carli E, Blasi C, 2010. Rome, Italy: Casa Editrice Università La Sapienza.208 pp.

Chacón E, Saborío G, 2012. Red Interamericana de Información de Especies Invasoras, Costa Rica. San José, Costa Rica: Asociación para la Conservación y el Estudio de la Biodiversidad.http://invasoras.acebio.org

Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. Galapagos, Ecuador: Charles Darwin Foundation.

Chong KY, Tan HTW, Corlett RT, 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Singapore: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore.273 pp.

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Contributors

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15/02/18 Original text by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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