Impatiens psittacina

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Impatiens psittacina
Hooker's illustration
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Balsaminaceae
Genus: Impatiens
Species: I. psittacina
Binomial name
Impatiens psittacina

Impatiens psittacina, known variously as the "parrot flower" or "parrot balsam" is a species of balsam from Southeast Asia that was described by the botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker and was noted for its flower that resemble a "flying cockatoo". It is known from Thailand, Burma and parts of India.[2]


A balsam, Impatiens psittacina, or parrot flower, is a very rare impatiens species discovered in the Shan States of Upper Burma by A.H. Hildebrand, a British official. Seeds of it were presented to the Royal Gardens (Kew) in 1899 and it flowered in 1900 and a description was published in 1901 by Joseph Dalton Hooker.[3]

The specimen in Kew did not set seed but the capsules are said not to explode and disperse seeds as in many Impatiens.

The species grows in the wild in a small region of north Thailand (near Chiang Mai), Burma, and in the north-east Indian state of Manipur. The species name "psittacina" is Latin for "parrot-like",[4] in reference to parrot-shaped blooms viewed from the side.

The Thai government has prohibited exporting this species, so it is not in cultivation,.[5] Counterfeit seeds are frequently sold.[6]


The plant is erect and branches profusely and grows compactly to a height of about half a metre. Like other Impatiens species it has thick stems, the leaves have a serrulate margin. The flower is light purple and carmine red. The lateral sepals are orbicular and light green. The lower sepal is bulbous and narrows into a hooked spur tipped in carmine. The dorsal petal is orbicular and hooded while the lateral united petals are long.[2]

This species of Impatiens is known in Thai as "Dork Nok Khaew" which translates to "Flower Bird Parrot".[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Parrot Flower". Snopes. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Morgan, P. Raymond (2007). Impatiens: the vibrant world of Busy Lizzies, Balsams, and Touch-me-nots. Timber Press. p. 205. ISBN 0881928526. 
  3. ^ Hooker, JD (1901) Impatiens psittacina : Native of Burma TAB: 7809. Curtis Botanical Magazine 127
  4. ^ "Plant Latin Dictionary". 
  5. ^ "Thailand Parrot Flower". 
  6. ^ "eBay screeshot of August 8, 2015". 

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