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Balfour's touch-me-not

(Impatiens balfourii)

Image of Balfour's touch-me-not

Herbaceous annual ornamental with showy pink flowers and pods that eject seeds upon maturation.

Overview map of Balfour's touch-me-not classification in WI
Restricted (orange) counties

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: Poor man’s orchid, Kashmir balsam

Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted

Ecological Threat
  • Invades upland forests, wetlands, grasslands, marshes, and stream edges.
  • Rapidly reproduces by seed.
  • Plants are deer resistant, increasing browse pressures on surrounding desirable vegetation.

Leaves & stems: Leaves simple, ovate-oblong, acuminate leaf apex (long leaf tip) with serrated margins.

Flowers: Showy, distinct pinkish-purple flowers. Flower petals are fused to form a hood, twin lips, and a prominent spur. 4-8 flowers occur individually on long, erect pedicels (stalks).

Fruits & seeds: Mature capsules eject seeds when touched. Prolific self-seeder. Seed viability is around 18 months.

Roots: Fibrous root systems.

Similar species: Resembles other Impatiens spp: flowers and seed pods.

  • Keep plants from going to seed.
  • Cut or mow plants while in flower, before seed maturation.
  • Herbicides for control of this species are being explored. 2,4-D has provided effective control of other Impatiens spp.
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