/im pay"sheuhnz/, n., pl. impatiens.any of numerous plants belonging to the genus Impatiens, of the balsam family, having irregular flowers in which the calyx and corolla are not clearly distinguishable and bearing fruit that bursts open to scatter the seeds.[1880-85; < NL, L impatiens not enduring, not tolerating (see IMPATIENT); alluding to the plant's quick release of seeds upon slight contact; cf. the familiar name touch-me-not]
* * *Any of about 900 species of herbaceous plants in the genus Impatiens (balsam family), so named because the seedpod bursts when slightly touched.Garden balsam (I. balsamina), native to the tropics of Asia, is a favourite showy annual in U.S. gardens; its flowers are irregular, single or clustered, and of almost every colour but blue. Familiar related weeds in eastern North America are spotted jewelweed (I. biflora or I. capensis) and pale touch-me-not. Most impatiens have weak, hollow stems and require high moisture. Close relatives are geraniums and nasturtiums.
* * *▪ plant genuslarge genus of herbaceous plants, belonging to the balsam family (Balsaminaceae), that are widely distributed in Asia, Africa, and North America. Some are regarded as weeds but others are popular garden plants. The name, meaning “impatient,” refers to the readiness with which the plants' seeds are dispersed. The ripe seedpod bursts upon slight pressure, thus scattering the seeds.Impatiens' simple leaves are usually alternate, the upper ones often being whorled (i.e., three or more arising in a circle from the stem). The flowers, which may be purple, yellow, pink, red, or white, are irregular in shape and arise from the leaf axils; they may be solitary or in small clusters.Impatiens balsamina, the garden balsam, is native to the tropics of Asia but has long been cultivated in temperate regions of the world. In its many horticultural forms it is one of the showiest of garden flowers and is relatively easy to cultivate. I. biflora, I. nolitangere, and I. pallida, all known variously as touch-me-not, snapweed, and jewelweed, are common weeds native to extensive regions of eastern North America.Impatiens balsamina, an annual that grows about 75 cm (30 inches) in height, has flowers of almost every colour except blue. I. biflora, which grows 60–90 cm tall, is an annual with orange, brown-spotted flowers. I. capensis, which grows 120–150 cm tall, is an annual with orange, red-spotted flowers. I. pallida closely resembles I. capensis but has larger, yellower flowers.
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