Impatiens balsamina - L.
Common Name Rose Balsam, Spotted snapweed, Touch-Me-Not, Garden Balsam
Family Balsaminaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards Regular ingestion of large quantities of these plants can be dangerous due to their high mineral content[172]. This report, which seems nonsensical, might refer to calcium oxalate. This mineral is found in I. capensis and so is probably also in other members of the genus. It can be harmful raw but is destroyed by thoroughly cooking or drying the plant[K]. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet[238].
Habitats Waste places in and around villages[260].
Range E. Asia - China, India, Malaya.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Bloom Color: Lavender, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.

Impatiens balsamina Rose Balsam, Spotted snapweed, Touch-Me-Not, Garden Balsam
Impatiens balsamina Rose Balsam, Spotted snapweed, Touch-Me-Not, Garden Balsam
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Impatiens balsamina is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Oil;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Oil.

Leaves and young shoots - cooked[177, 179]. Seed - raw or cooked[177]. They are difficult to collect in quantity, mainly because of their exploding seed capsules which scatter the ripe seed at the slightest touch[K].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antibiotic;  Cancer;  Cathartic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Expectorant;  Poultice;  Tonic;  

The plant is cathartic, diuretic and emetic[240]. It is used in the treatment of pains in the joints[240]. The leaf juice is used as a treatment against warts[218]. The flowers are cooling, mucilaginous and tonic[240, 272]. They are useful when applied to burns and scalds[240]. The juice of the flowers is used to treat snakebites[272]. The flowers, and their alcoholic extract, possess marked antibiotic activity against some pathogenic fungi and bacteria[240]. The seed is expectorant and has been used in the treatment of cancer[218]. The powdered seeds are given to women during labour in order to provide strength[272].


Other Uses
Dye;  Oil.

A dye is obtained from the flowers and leaves[51, 178, 266]. The prepared juice has been used for dyeing finger and toenails red[4, 266]. The seed contains 27% of a viscous oil, though the report does not mention if this oil is utilised for any purpose[240].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Seashore. Succeeds in any reasonably good soil[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist well-drained humus rich soil in a cool site[200]. Another report says that this species requires warm, moist conditions[260]. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade[188]. Plants are not frost hardy, but can be grown outdoors in Britain by sowing the seed in a greenhouse and planting out after the last expected frosts. A polymorphic species[1], there are several named forms selected for their ornamental value[200]. This plant has seed capsules that spring open forcibly as the seed ripens to eject the seed a considerable distance. The capsules are sensitive to touch even before the seed is ripe, making seed collection difficult but fun[K]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Extended bloom season in Zones 9A and above.
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Cardamine impatiensNarrowleaf bittercress21
Impatiens aurellaPaleyellow touch-me-not22
Impatiens capensisJewelweed32
Impatiens ecalcarata 22
Impatiens edgeworthii 00
Impatiens glanduliferaJewelweed, Ornamental jewelweed31
Impatiens noli-tangereTouch-Me-Not32
Impatiens occidentalis 32
Impatiens pallidaPale Jewelweed, Pale touch-me-not33
Impatiens parvifloraSmallflower touchmenot22
Impatiens sulcata 20
Impatiens textori 10
Impatiens tingens 10


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Readers comment
Dominic Ho Kim Hui   Sat Nov 18 2006
Lots of useful information. I would like to add more. From our tried and successful experience, we make use of the white-flowered imatiens balsamina roots to treat snake bite or any other poisonous insect bites. To start with we clean the roots and have them dried in the sun unitl its completely dry. These dried roots is then soaked in alcohol usually rice wine.Its keep in a air tight bottle or container until the wine change to brownish colour which may take a few days.To treat snake bite we apply some to the affected bite area and we drink about two Table spoon full too. The result is very fast and immediate. I had personally known two cases where the would be patient was on the brink of collasping few minuntes into the bites! Thanks god, we have the portion with us which we always make sure each time we go to the jungle we have them along. Hope the above information is of use to you. Thanks.
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Subject : Impatiens balsamina  

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