14 Jan Impatiens, Busy Lizzy
Impatiens walleriana varieties
Readily sold at most nurseries and local markets, these colourful plants spread easily by seed and fragments. Commonly found along drains and water courses.
Habit: Bushy, succulent-stemmed tender perennial that grows in a spreading mound 15-60cm tall depending on variety. Shade tolerant, favouring moist conditions.
Leaves: Ovate to elliptic leaves light to dark green, sometimes with a bronze-red cast and serrated edges. The opposite leaves are arranged spirally around a thick, green or brownish, brittle stem. Fragments of stem re-root readily.
Flowers: Large (to 5cm across), fleshy, with 5 petals. Pink, rose, red, lilac, purple, orange, white & bicolors. Spring-Autumn.
Fruit: Explosive capsules contain hundreds of small, viable seeds, which are expelled some distance when ripe.
Roots: Fibrous root system tolerant of a wide range of soil types from sand to clay.
Dispersal: Seed and vegetation is spread by water, humans, contaminated soil (earthmoving equipment, car tyres etc) and garden refuse dumping.
Control: Hand pull/dig, bagging all plant parts and removing from site. Foliar spray.