Skip to main content

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.


Other names for this plant include:
  • Common names: Poor man’s orchid, Kashmir balsam
  • Scientific names: None.
Ecological threat:
  • Invades upland forests, wetlands, grasslands, marshes, stream edges.
  • Rapidly reproduces by seed.
  • Plants are deer resistant, increasing browse pressures on surrounding desirable vegetation.
Overview map of Balfour's touch-me-not classification in WI
Restricted (orange) counties

Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for Balfour's touch-me-not was based upon this literature review [PDF] developed by the department.


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

Flowers: Showy, distinct pinkish-purple flowers. Flowers petals are fused to form hood and twin lips, and a large 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, prior to seed maturation.
  • Herbicides for control of this species are being explored. 2,4-D has provided effective control of other Impatiens spp.


View pictures of Balfour's touch-me-not in our photo gallery!