Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Impatiens cinnabarina

This small and delicate impatiens comes from Kimboza area, Uluguru Mountains in Tanzania.  Its habitat is limestone outcrops at low altitudes.  The tuber forming root system is probably an adaptation to survive occasional dry spells. This young plant of about 5-6 mths old just flowered for the first time.  There is a very distinctive blotch at the base of the lower united petals.  Unhappily, the flower last a short 1 day... maybe 2 days.  The picture was taken before i left for work and by evening the flower was on the floor. The broad slivery-green leaves are attractive too. I. walleriana is more rewarding as a flowering bedding plant... but if you want miniature and delicate beauty would recommend I. cinnabarina. It is one of the very very few smaller impatiens that can survive occasional drought.

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