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a family of herbaceous dicotyledonous choripetalous plants which have more or less transparent, succulent stems and simple leaves without stipules. The flowers are bisexual and irregular, with a double perianth. There are five, usually colored, unequal sepals; the first, or lowest (rear), extends in a tubelike spur. The fruit is usually a juicy pod from which the seeds are dispersed when it is opened. There are four genera (approximately 450 species), mainly in tropical Asia and Africa, with some in Europe and North America. The basic genus, Impatiens, comprises more than 400 species, of which there are eight in the USSR; of these, I. noli-tangere (touch-me-not) is widely distributed. Several species of Balsaminaceae are cultivated; I. balsamina, originating in South Asia, is the ancestor of many varieties of garden Balsaminaceae.
REFERENCESKiselev, G. E. Tsvetovodstvo, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1964.
Takhtadzhian, A. L. Sistema i filogeniia tsvetkovykh rastenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
M. E. KIRPICHNIKOV