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Origin and Habitat: Impatiens opinata grows in Peninsular Malaysia, from Gua Panjang, Gua Ninik and Gua Musang in Kelantan and Gunung Senyum and Bukit Sagu in Pahang. It also occurs in Peninsular Thailand.
Altitude range: This species grows at low altitudes comprised beteween 50 and 300 metres above sea level.
Habitat and ecology: It grows in crevices of limestone rocks, in dry evergreen forest. Impatiens opinata is a shade loving plant, usually found at the moist and shaded base of limestone hills.
- Impatiens opinata Craib
ENGLISH: Balsam Impatiens
Description: Impatiens opinata is a perennial stem succulent that will grow between 30 and 50 cm tall and reach 30-70(100) cm in height. Prostrate and crawling with age. The stem is only a little enlarged and barely caudiciform (base not swollen).
Stem: Fleshy, base tuberosus, 10-25 cm tall with distinct petiolar scars.
Leaves: Alternate, crowded at the apex of the stem, elliptic or ovate-elliptic, apex shortly acuminate, mucronate, base acuminate, 6-16.5 cm long, 4.5-10 cm wide, membranous, lateral veins 4-7 on each side, distinct, green. Margin more or less serrulate, teeth distant. Petiole 4-7.5 cm long smooth, ; infrapetiolar glands absent.
Inflorescences: Racemes, solitary, terminal, upright, exceeding the foliage, branched or unbranched but with a distinct peduncle 8-13 cm long.
Flowers: Typically bright yellow with scattered black-purple spots. But the colours range from canary yellow with or without red spots to peachy orange and clareted. Pale yellow blooms with red spots and white are also been recorded. Bracts under the flower, about 3-5 mm long. Pedicels 7 mm long, glabrous. The flower is made up of a pair of lateral petals connate with each other, scarcely 2 cm long, 2-4 cm wide, a dorsal petal, a funnel-shaped lower sepal (the spur) and a pair of greenish-pink lateral sepals. The ovary is smooth. Each flower lasts about 3 days.
Similar species: In Peninsular Malaysia, only Impatiens opinata and Impatiens mirabiliss, have upright elongate racemes but the former has smaller different-looking yellow flowers with scattered black-purple spots. T. Shimizu considers Impatiens opinata (= Impatiens foxworthyi). Henderson is more specific to describe Impatiens foxworthyi as having unusual white vein contrasting with the green lamina so Impatiens opinata may well be the plain form. By the way, both types occur side-by-side having similar flowers.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) First decribtion of Impatiens opinata by: Craib “Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information” H.M. Stationery Office, 1926(4): 163. [20 Apr 1926]
2) Chin, S. C. “The limestone hill flora of Malaya II.” The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 32: 95-97, 1977
3) Shimizu, T. “Contributions to the flora of Southeast Asia. II Impatiens of Thailand and Malaya.” Tonan Ajia Kenkyu (The Southeast Asian Studies) Volume 8, 1970
4) Shimizu, T. & Utami N. “Three new species of Impatients (Balsaminaceae) added to Flora Malesiana.” Kew Bulletin 52(2): 435-442.1996.
5) Impatiens opinata - By Joanne Tan Pei Chih Tropical Forest Biodiversity Centre
Forest Biodiversity Division, Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)
52109 Kepong, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA. <http://www.tfbc.frim.gov.my>
6) Tan Cheng Li “Slated for destruction - Forest Research Institute Malaysia” in: The Star, 13 Jul 2015 Page No 1to3 <http://www.frim.gov.my/v1/fin/file/MY_899_20150713_N_Star_ST_pg1TO3_3948f.pdf> web 07 January 2015
Impatiens opinata Photo by: Sándor Horváth
Impatiens opinata Photo by: Sándor Horváth
Cultivation and Propagation: Impatiens opinata needs a warm and moist enviroments.
Exposure: It need partial shade or filtered sun. Shade is sometimes provided in hot climates.
Substratum: The plants like a rich, porous, well-drained soil mix, with extra leaf mould added but aren't usually too picky as to soil type.
Fertilization: They are fertilized on a monthly basis with a balanced fertilizer during active growing phase.
Temperature requirements: Keep in a bright location in winter (minimum temperature 12-15° C). However, in the winter, keeping it cool gives the plant a needed rest.
Propagation: By seeds that need warm (23°C) and moist humiferous substrate, germination in 4-5 weeks. It may also been propagated by cuttings, plantlets regenerating from the stem cutting will mature and bloom after 10 months from the day of propagation.
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