Saturday, April 23, 2011

A New Flower on My Windowsill

About two months ago I sowed some seeds of balsam (Impatiens balsamina) from a left-over packed that I had bought in a grocery store in Boston's Chinatown almost a year earlier. The germination rate had not been particularly good the first time I had planted seeds from that particular batch so I was not expecting much to come of this sowing but I just could not get myself to just throw away the seeds either. Lo and  behold, three healthy and fairly strong plants did grow from this planting and are now gracing my windowsill. Yesterday, the biggest one unfurled its first flower, pure white and semi-double.

 Balsam (Impatiens balsamina)

Balsam is among my favorite old-fashioned annuals. Since it grows and comes into flower so fast, I might do a second sowing outside at my parents' house when I go home at the end of May.


  1. Its my favourite too at the moment..mine are red and pink double layered blooms, they look like miniature roses. The white variety is seldom seen.

  2. Não conhecia essa espécie de bálsamo.
    Conheço uma espécie que é usada para fins medicinais. Chamada de bálsamo oftálmico e, não dá flor.
    Votos de um bom fim de semana

  3. I forget how wonderful it is when a seed becomes a plant...

  4. I agree wit Evelyn. It is so wonderful to see the plant and flower!

  5. i dont believe i've seen a white balsam! love how the balsam seeds 'crack' in water.

  6. p3chandan - I rarely get whites either, so I was actually a bit surprised by this particular plant. Past batches have always been predominantly in shades of red, pink, and purple. I do not always get the flowers to be as doubled as I would like them to be, so perhaps later this year I will experiment with seeds from different sources to see if any produce more consistently double flowers.

    João - Há várias espécies de plantas chamadas de
    "bálsamo" nas diferentes línguas europeas. Esta que estou cultivando no momento é uma flor que pertence ao género da maria-sem-vergonha (Impatiens walleriana)e tem um número de nomes portugueses diferentes, como beijo-de-frade e balsamina. Feliz Páscoa!

    Evelyn and lotusleaf - I completely agree; and in a way growing a plant from seed is so different from just buying a plant that is already grown. One can a different pride in a truly homegrown specimen.

  7. The Purple Lotus stands for mysticism and is the least commonly used lotus color, typically found only in a few esoteric sects. It is depicted either as a bud or an open bloom, with 8 petals representing the Noble 8-Fold Path and any of single, triple or quintuple stems. The flowers also sometimes appear in a cup or on a tray as a public expression of respect or honor. Lotus flower


Thanks for stopping by!