Common name: Perennial impatiens
Impatiens omeiana, an herbaceous perennial endemic to China, is primarily grown for its beautiful foliage. It belongs to the balsam family (Balsaminaceae). I. omeiana is the ideal plant for a moderately moist, well-drained location, in part to full shade.
I. omeiana's lance-shaped, slightly toothed leaves are dark green with white midribs. and have a velvety appearance. The petioles and stems are reddish. It has showy yellow snapdragon-like flowers which bloom in late summer.
I. omeiana was collected by ecologist Dr. Don Jacobs on Mount Omei (Emei Shan) in 1983. The genus name comes from the impatient nature of the seed pods. When ripe, the slightest touch will cause the fruit to eject the seeds. The specific epithet means 'of Mount Omei' in Sichuan, China.
Impatiens omeiana can be found in Bed 121C of the Meconopsis Dell. I. omeiana has become an endangered species in its native habitat.
Text and foliage photos by Kumi Sutcliffe in Garden
Flower photo by Steve Law, via Wikimedia Commons