Impatiens tinctoria; from tropical east Africa to the glasshouse border and growing a stately three metres tall. The tall succulent or watery stems are sent up annually from the perennial rootstock. At this time of year the flowers are spectacular with a long spur tailing back from the white petal. The anther is heavily laden with pollen and resembles a rectangular scrubbing brush. On top of this are two delicate curled stigma. There is much to commend the flower both visually and botanically. The upper petal hooded, the lower with speckled pink markings. With a frost the dieback is rapid due to the high water content of the plant. The rootstock requires a sheltered site to successfully overwinter. Heaping with compost also helps.
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