Topic : Balsams of Eastern Himalayas
Topic in Syllabus: Ecology & Environment
Between 2010 and 2019, botanists and taxonomists working on Impatiens, the scientists discovered 23 new species from the eastern Himalayas.
- Prior to 2010, specimens of Impatiens that had potential of being identified as new species would be collected but the dried-up specimens looked identical to the species discovered earlier and their effort yielded no results.
- Botanists and taxonomists discovered 23 new species of Impatiens from the eastern Himalayas — a group of plantscommonly known as Balsams or jewel-weeds.
- It consisting of both annual and perennial herbs, balsams are succulent plants with high endemism. Because of theirbright beautiful flowers, these group of plants is of prized horticultural significance.
- Of the 83 species described, 45 are from Arunachal Pradesh, 24 from Sikkim and 16 species common to both states.
- Belonging to Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, these plants are highly sensitive to climatic conditions such as extremedrought and extended exposure to sunlight.
- Impatiens is a genus of more than 1,000 species of flowering plants, widely distributed throughout the NorthernHemisphere and the tropics.
- Together with the genus Hydrocera (1 species), Impatiens make up the family Balsaminaceae.
- Common names in North America include impatiens, jewelweed, touch-me-not, snapweed, and patience.
- As a rule-of-thumb, “jewelweed” is used exclusively for Nearctic species, and balsam is usually applied to tropicalSpecies
Botanical Survey of India (BSI):
- BSI is the apex research organization under Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEFCC) for carrying out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of country.
- It was established in 1890 with objective to explore plant resources of country and to identify plants species with economic virtues.
- It has nine regional circles situated at different regions of the country.
Consider the following statements.
- Balsam species are commonly known as Jewel Weeds.
- The genus name ‘Impatiens’ signifies the impatient nature of the fruits which explode when touched.
- They are distributed only in Eastern Himalayas.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a). 1 and 2 only
b). 2 and 3 only
c). 3 only
d). 1, 2 and 3
Balsam species are distributed throughout Western Ghats, Eastern Himalayas, Sri Lanka, South East Asia, Africa and Madagascar.