The Q&A Archives: Finding A Flower Touch Me Not

Question: I am looking for a plant my Mother had in her garden but I don't know the scientific name for it. We always called it
"Touch-Me-Not". The flowers grew along the stalk and after the flower was spent there was a seed pod that popped open when you touched it. Unfortunately Mother passed away several years ago and I never got any of the seed from it. I have not been able to find the plant as of yet. Can you tell me the name of the plant and where I might find it?
Marilyn Benton
Glenpool, Ok.

Answer: I think you are describing Impatiens balsamina or Balsam Impatiens. This is an old fashioned annual, a summer bloomer with flowers in the white to pink to purple range and the seeds explode just as you described. Burpee currently offers an heirloom balsam seed mix in the online catalog, search for balsam to bring it up.

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