Impatiens Riv. ex L.

This genus is accepted, and its native range is Old World, N. & Central America.


Balsaminaceae, C. Grey-wilson. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1993

As for the family description but the lower petals (lower in the resupinate flower) always united into lateral pairs, the lateral united petals, and the fruit a fleshy, explosive, loculicidal capsule.


Balsaminaceae, E. Launert. Flora Zambesiaca 2:1. 1963

Morphology General Habit
Annual or perennial herbs, sometimes shrubby; stems usually succulent, rarely woody, glabrous or pilose.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves verticillate or opposite or spirally arranged.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences axillary and or of terminal simple racemes or pseudumbels or fascicles, or the flowers solitary.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers sometimes cleistogamous (rarely both cleistogamous and normal ones in the same inflorescence), pedicellate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals, petals and sexual organs as for the family.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit glabrous or pilose or sometimes tomentose.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds smooth or tuberculate or rugose, glabrous or pilose.

Native to:

Afghanistan, Alabama, Alaska, Albania, Alberta, Altay, Amur, Angola, Arkansas, Assam, Austria, Baltic States, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, British Columbia, Bulgaria, Burundi, Buryatiya, Cabinda, California, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Central African Repu, Central European Rus, Chad, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Colorado, Comoros, Congo, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Delaware, Denmark, District of Columbia, East European Russia, East Himalaya, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, Florida, France, Free State, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Guinea, Gulf of Guinea Is., Hainan, Hungary, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Inner Mongolia, Iowa, Iran, Irkutsk, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jawa, Kamchatka, Kansas, Kazakhstan, Kentucky, Kenya, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Krym, Kuril Is., KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Lesotho, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Louisiana, Madagascar, Magadan, Maine, Malawi, Malaya, Manchuria, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Mongolia, Montana, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nebraska, Nepal, Netherlands, New Brunswick, New Guinea, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Newfoundland, Nigeria, North Carolina, North Caucasus, North Dakota, North European Russi, Northern Provinces, Northwest European R, Northwest Territorie, Norway, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Pakistan, Panamá, Pennsylvania, Philippines, Poland, Primorye, Prince Edward I., Qinghai, Québec, Rhode I., Romania, Rwanda, Sakhalin, Saskatchewan, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Is., South Carolina, South Dakota, South European Russi, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Tibet, Togo, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vermont, Vietnam, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, West Siberia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yugoslavia, Yukon, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Andaman Is., Argentina Northeast, Argentina South, Bolivia, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Canary Is., Caroline Is., Chagos Archipelago, Colombia, Cook Is., Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Galápagos, Guatemala, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Ireland, Jamaica, Juan Fernández Is., Laccadive Is., Leeward Is., Madeira, Marianas, Marshall Is., Mauritius, Mexico Central, Mexico Northeast, Morocco, Nansei-shoto, New Caledonia, New South Wales, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Nicaragua, Niue, Oman, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Rodrigues, Réunion, Society Is., St.Helena, Tasmania, Tokelau-Manihiki, Tonga, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuela, Victoria, Windward Is.

Impatiens Riv. ex L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Troupin, G. [2977], Congo, DRC 11803.000 No
Purseglove, J.W. [3590], Uganda 11804.000 No
Purseglove, J.W. [3312], Uganda 11805.000 No
Bullock, A.A. [3991], Tanzania 11806.000 No
Tweedie, E.M. [473], Kenya 11807.000 No
Wild, H. [2906], Mozambique 11808.000 No
15343.000 No
Purseglove, J.W. [3591], Uganda 16023.000 No
Melville, R. [501], Equatorial Guinea 35219.000 No
Polhill, R. [1655], Tanzania 3729.000 No
Cribb, P.J. [65], Malaysia 55063.000 No
Cribb, P., Indonesia 55064.000 No
Cribb, P., Indonesia 55065.000 No
Cribb, P., Indonesia 55066.000 No
Cribb, P., Indonesia 55067.000 No
Taylor, P. [18105], India 55972.000 No
Taylor, P. [18207], India 55973.000 No
Taylor, P. [18026], India 55974.000 No
Taylor, P. [18029], India 55975.000 No
de Leyser, E.A., Tanzania 57951.000 No
Hunt, P.F. [3044], Solomon Is. 7531.000 No
Hunt, P.F. [2317], Solomon Is. 7532.000 No
Tweedie, E.M. [527], Kenya 8910.000 No
Dawkins, H. [767], Uganda 8911.000 No
Troupin, G. [2608], Rwanda 8912.000 No
Dawkins, H.C. [781], Uganda 8913.000 No
Tweedie, E.M. [473], Kenya 8914.000 No
Luo Yi-bo, China 62164.000 No
Cribb, P.J. [ASBK 367], China 70725.000 No
Cribb, P.J. [ASBK 186], China 70732.000 No
Cribb, P.J. [ASBK 285], China 70736.000 No
Dupuy, D.J. [M776], Madagascar 71588.000 No
Dupuy, D.J. [M772], Madagascar 71590.000 No
Dupuy, D.J. [M811], Madagascar 71591.000 No
Dupuy, D.J. [M859], Madagascar 71592.000 No
HNK [2918], Vietnam 77517.000 No
Cable, S. [3005], Cameroon K000337769 No

First published in Sp. Pl.: 937 (1753)

Accepted by

  • (2018). epublication.
  • Chakrabarty, T. (2009). A checklist of the genus Impatiens L. (Balsaminaceae) for Sikkim state. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany 33: 205-215.
  • Dessai, J.R.N. & Janarthanam, M.K. (2011). The genus Impatiens (Balsaminaceae) in the northern and parts of central Western Ghats. Rheedea 21: 23-80.
  • Gogoi, R., Adamowski, W., Sherpa, N., Sharma, A. & Borah, S. (2021). Misinterpretations and plagiarism in a publication about Himalayan Impatiens: polemics with the paper of Singh R.K. et al. 2021. Biodiversity: Research and Conservation 63: 1-30.
  • Gogoi, R., Sherpa, N. & Rai, S. (2021). Wild balsams of Darjeeling and Sikkim himalaya. A pictorial handbook: 1-295. Botanical Surbey of India.
  • Singh, R.K., Borah, D. & Taram, M. (2021). Typifications, new combinations and new synonyms in Indian Impatiens (Balsaminaceae). Biodiversity: Research and Conservation 61: 1-27.


Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • Gilg in Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 43: 97–128 (1909).
  • Warburg in Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 22: 46–53 (1895)
  • —F.T.A. 1: 298

Flora Zambesiaca

  • Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 403 (1754).
  • Sp. Pl.: 2: 937 (1753)

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Gilg in E.J. 43: 97 (1909)
  • Grey-Wilson, Impatiens of Africa (1980)
  • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 403 (1754)
  • Sp. Pl.: 937 (1753)
  • Warb. & Reiche in E. & P. Pf. III .5: 383 (1895)
  • Warb. in E.J. 22: 46 (1895)

  • Art and Illustrations in Digifolia

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora Zambesiaca

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • Interactive Key to Seed Plants of Malesia and Indo-China

    The Malesian Key Group (2010) Interactive Key to Seed Plants of Malesia and Indo-China (Version 2.0, 28 Jul 2010) The Nationaal Herbarium Nederland Leiden and The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.