IMPATIENS, in botany, a genus of annual or biennial herbs, sometimes becoming shrubby, chiefly natives of the mountains of tropical Asia and Africa, but also found widely distributed in the north temperate zone and in South Africa. The flowers, which are purple, yellow, pink or white and often showy, are spurred and irregular in form and borne in the leaf -axils. The name is derived from the fact that the seed-pod when ripe discharges the seeds by the elastic separation and coiling of the valves. Impatiens Noli- touch-me-not, an annual succulent herb with yellow flowers, is probably wild in moist mountainous districts in north Wales, Lancashire and Westmorland. I. Roylei, a tall hardy succulent annual with rosepurple flowers, a Himalayan species, is common in England as a self-sown garden plant or garden escape. I. Balsamina, the common balsam of gardens, a well-known annual, is a native of India; it is one of the showiest of summer and autumn flowers and of comparatively easy cultivation. I. Sultani, a handsome plant, with scarlet flowers, a native of Zanzibar, is easily grown in a greenhouse throughout the summer, but requires warmth in winter.
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