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Impatiens balfouri

Common Name:
Poor man's orchid
Plant Type:
Evergreen perennial
Balsaminaceae (The Balsam Family)
Geographic Origin:
South and Southeast Asia
California Native?:
Plant Size:
2 feet
Landscape/Garden Uses:
shade gardens
Flowering Season:
Spring to fall
Flower Color:
Light pink
Medium shade
Most soils
Suggested Irrigation:
Regular to moderate watering
Estimated Hardiness:
This bushy tender perennial up to 3 feet tall has rather slender, bright green stems and pointed-oval leaves, shiny above. Throughout the summer it bears sprays of irregular 2-lipped flowers, combining white, magenta and yellow. The seed capsules are explosive, and it can reseed prolifically around the garden but it is easy to rogue out. Sun or shade near the coast, part shade inland, many soils, moderate to frequent watering. Great fodder for whitefly and mites, which are best controlled by keeping the plants well-ventilated.