Impatiens glandulifera

Impatiens glandulifera is and herbaceous plant commonly known as ‘Policeman‘s Helmet’ in reference to the red to pinkish axillary flowers posessing an enlarged petaloid, fused calyx forming a spurred cup shaped hood. The petals are fused in oppositely arranged pairs, the upper petal being knotched. The leaves are finely toothed and oppositely arrange or whorled along the stem. The fruit produced is a dehiscent capsule that, as is characteristic of the Balsaminanceae plant family (touch-me-not family), is explosive when lightly distrubed.

Impatiens glandulifera is an Asian ornamental that becomes established in the wild. In the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, the lower Fraser Valley and western Washington are places I. glandulifera has become naturalized.

The above photos were taken along the Alsea River or Oregon, approximately 20 miles from Waldport, Oregon.

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References

Hitchcock, C.L. and A. Cronquist (1994) Flora of the Pacific Northwest, University of Washington Press, Seattle and London.

Pojar, J. and A. McKinnon (1994) Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Lone Pine Publishing, Washington, Canada.

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