First time I saw the balsam in Valparai, on the Western Ghats and it was bloomed in gorgeous red! Impressed in its beautiful and colorful flowers, my grandmother collected some seeds from there and sowed at our flower pots and in her backyard. The plant grows very fast and looked like small trees grown in pots, but they haven’t flowered and we also stopped watering the plant and later cleared the pots to plant other.
The balsam plant, which is native to the Himalayas has colorful blossoms and also sweet scented. Just look like an orchid growing in the wild, the balsam plant grows in hilly regions and does not require much watering. The plant grows in large numbers and sometimes the whole mountainous region where the plant is seen is covered with pink or red. The balsam plant has a unique way of propagation, which develops seed pods that burst and spreads the seeds far away.
The flap of a petal which looks like a helmet and this plant is also called the policeman’s helmet. The plant grows for two to three feet and flowers profusely, have leaves bright green in color growing in central arrangement and have wavy edges. The balsam blooms almost similar to rose flowers, look like roses from far and only the fact that they don’t have thorns.
The balsam grows and blooms during summers and beginning of rains, has shown blossom now at home and not from our pot, but the tenants who share our house in upstairs. They have kept their flower pots in front of our house, which we water daily since they haven’t occupied quite yet.