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Balfour's touch-me-not

Balfour's touch-me-not
(Impatiens balfourii)

Herbaceous annual ornamental with showy pink flowers and pods that eject seeds upon maturation.


Regulated areas of Impatiens balfourii
This species is Restricted (Orange counties)

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: Poor man’s orchid, Kashmir balsam
  • Scientific names: None.

Ecological threat:

  • Invades upland forests, wetlands, grasslands, marshes, stream edges.
  • Rapidly reproduces by seed.
  • Plants are deer resistant, increasing browse pressures on surrounding desirable vegetation.

Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for Balfour's touch-me-not was based upon this literature review developed by the department.


Leaves & stems: Leaves simple, ovate-oblong, acuminate leaf apex (long leaf tip) with serrated margins.

Flowers: Showy, distinct pinkish-purple flowers. Flowers petals are fused to form hood and twin lips, and a large spur. 4-8 flowers occur individually on long, erect pedicles (stalks).

Fruits & seeds: Mature capsules eject seeds when touched. Prolific self-seeder. Seed viability is around 18 months.

Roots: Fibrous root systems.

Similar species: Resembles other Impatiens spp. flowers and seed pods.


Impatiens balfourii
Counties in WI where Balfour's touch-me-not has been reported (as of July 2013). Both vouchered and unvouchered reports included.

Do you have Balfour's touch-me-not in your county but it isn't shaded on the map? Send us a report.



  • Keep plants from going to seed.
  • Cut or mow plants while in flower, prior to seed maturation.


  • Herbicides for control of this species are being explored. 2,4-D has provided effective control of other Impatiens spp.


View pictures of Balfour's touch-me-not in our photo gallery!

Last revised: Friday May 31 2019