Monday, 9 August 2021

Impatiens tinctoria

I just love the flowers of Impatiens tinctoria and it does very well in my garden.

It comes from cooler and damper regions of East Africa , Ethiopia , Uganda , Kenya , Malawi , Zambia , where it is found beside streams and damp places .

The tinctoria part of it's name gives a clue to the use of it's tuberous roots , as a dye . Used in a similar way to Henna , for dyeing hands and feet . The dye produced from the tubers is red , also used for dyeing  cloth .

It has medicinal uses - being used to treat fungal infections such as ringworm and athelete's foot .It has other medicinal uses too , but I would not discuss nor recommend them here .

I grow it simply because I love the flowers . Butterflies, bees and pretty Hoverflies all love it too .

Unlike pretty pink Impatiens glandulifera ,which is also more commonly known as Himalayan balsam or Policeman's Helmet which is an evil aggressively , seed popping , invasive thug .... this one , Impatiens tinctoria is not invasive at all . 

It grows into a nice well behaved clump  !    (and here in my garden in Cornwall , it doesn't pop its seeds at all ! )  

It dies back and goes dormant over the Winter months .

 My clump of Impatiens tinctora has been in the ground in my garden for over ten years and is still a nice well behaved clump of about no more than two feet wide . 
 In my big tidy up yesterday , I cut it right back to the lowest new forming shoots and I will give it a good mulch . It will have enjoyed all the heavy rain showers we,ve been having and hopefully it will give me a second display of it's beautiful , sweet scented blooms through August .

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