Notice: Atrium is currently undergoing maintenance. During this time, some or all images may not be displayed.

Family: Balsaminaceae

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Family Parent: Geraniales Status: Valid

Common Names:

  • TOUCH-ME-NOT FAMILY - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Family Recognition in the Field: Herbs with translucent watery stems, alternate simple leaves, showy bilaterally symmetrical flowers with a conspicuous spur, and explosively dehiscing capsules.


Notes: A medium-sized (850 species in 2 genera), mainly Old World tropical family with a few in temperate regions; they are generally herbs or rarely subshrubs. Hydrocera, native to Indomalesia, has only a single species. Family name conserved from Balsamina, a genus nowtreated as Impatiens (the name Impatiens was published earlier and thus has priority in terms of nomenclature). (Possibly from Greek: balsamon, a fragrant gum, or from ancient Arabic: balassam, for some species of Impatiens) (subclass Rosidae)