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Amanda Graf
BTNY 110- Lab: Wednesday 11:30
29 November 2014
Over the years impatiens has become a big importance to people all over the world.
Impatiens has been adapted to be in pots and come in a wide variety of colors that growers love
to have. There are over 600 species of Impatiens, one very important one is Impatiens wallerana,
which are part of the Balsaminaceae family. These plants originated from Africa and were
brought over to Europe in the early 1900s (Uchneat). The plants soon went under breeding and in
just over twenty years, the small bedding plants overtook petunias and became the number one
plant to grow in gardens. Impatiens today has a very important impact on flower gardens today.
There are different amounts of chromosomes depending on the species of impatiens.
Impatiens Wallerana has eight pair of chromosomes, which equals a total of 16 chromosomes
(Uchneat). With the DNA scientists are beginning to use Agrobacterium tumefaciens to make
impatiens regenerate, and also be able to fight off inoculation of agrobacterium. Another trait
scientists are working on is to make the flowers be a variety of color. There is a large variety of
colors in the flowers already, but scientist are trying to make the flowers be a novelty and come
up with new colors that have not been on the market yet (Dan at el).
Although impatiens has become an important staple in flower gardens, their structures are
an important part of them. The leaf pattern is a compound leaf pattern with toothed edges. The
compound leaves are arranged on the plant as opposite but tend to be of a spiral pattern
(pictures). The plants are also stipulate as well as being petiolated. The color of the leaves should
also be a nice dark green, if the leaves are a yellow color; it usually tends to show a nutrition

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deficiency. There are different varieties with different color patterns although dark green is the
desired color (Uchneat).
The plants are actually considered dicot plants, as the plant when it emerges from the
ground it has two cotyledons. It is also known that the plants are dicots by the vein pattern on
the leaf, which is a netted pattern. The stem of the plant is also extremely fleshy, and the vascular
bundles containing xylem and phloem are scattered throughout the stem. Since the plants are
dicots, 2, 4D has a great effect on the plants. 2, 4D becomes like a cancer to broadleaf plants, and
causes the plant to rapidly grow, causing the death of vital materials in the plant. 2, 4D would
cause rapid growth in an impatient plant, and it would die due to the death of vital tissues due to
the abundant amount of rapid growth (Ganzel).
Since the plants happen to be dicots, the flowers have five petals. In this case, the
impatiens has three sepals, two lateral sepals and one spurred sepal. The flower itself contains
five stamens, which are all whorled and also has five carpels. The fruit the flower produces is a
drupe containing five schizocarpic pyrenes. The schizocarpic pyrenes are extremely touch
sensitive, which allows for the seed to be scattered extremely far when the schizocarpic pyrenes
explode. This is a very easy way for the seed to be spread and have a chance to make a new
plant the following year.
The plants by themselves do very well, but they seem to do better when competition is
around. When impatiens has competition they tend to grow greater in height since they are
competing for sunlight. The plants also become extremely bushy to try and receive as much
sunlight as possible. The roots also compete, as there is very little room for them to grow. The
roots become very dense and long to try and soak up as many nutrients as possible. The plants

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can also become very bushy if the apical meristem is pinched. If the plant were allowed apical
dominance the plant would grow very tall and not worry about bushing out.
These plants seem very simple, but they still can contract diseases that can potentially
take out an entire crop, which has a large impact on the agriculture industry. One major disease
that impatiens can contract is Impatiens Neurotic Spot Virus (INSV). INSV can show up
immediately in plants or it will not show symptoms for weeks. When symptoms show up, the
leaves get black spots and leaf distortion. INSV is transmitted by infected thrisps, that had fed on
a previously infected plant (Wick). Another disease that has been documented on impatiens has
been Cercospora Leaf Spot. Cercospora causes grayish- black spots to appear on the leaf. When
the plants contract this disease, the leaves can wilt and die in the most severe cases. This is an
extremely large impact on the plants, as the leaves are the main part to photosynthesis. The
disease was found through an experiment where plants were directly sprayed and put into a
controlled environment (Wolcan).
While learning all of this, I grew my own impatient over the semester. I had extremely
good luck with my plant, as it received plenty of sunlight from the west window of my dorm. I
learned that impatiens does not need much water to stay alive, and very little maintenance. My
plant grew extremely tall, and I often had to rotate the plant to stop the phototropism it was going
through. I was very lucky, and my flower bloomed for a three period week. Overall my
experience with my impatient plant was a good one, and I had no challenges with keeping it alive
other than it enjoyed leaning towards the light.

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Works Cited
Dan, Yinghui, Aaron Baxter, Song Zhang, Christopher J. Pantazis, and Richard E. Veilleux.
"Development of Efficient Plant Regeneration and Transformation System for Impatiens
Using Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Multiple Bud Cultures as Explants." BMC Plant
Biology. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014. <>
Ganzel, Bill. "The Herbicide 2, 4-D." Farming 1970s to Today. Ganzel Group, n.d. Web.
29 Nov. 2014. <>.
N.p., Web. 29 Nov. 2014. <
Uchneat, Michael S. "Impatiens." N.p., Web. 29 Nov. 2014.
Wolcam, S.M., G.M Dal Bello, and M. Sisterma. "Cercospora leaf spot on Impatiens spp. in
Argentina." New Disease Reports. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.
Wick, Robert L. "Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus." Greenhouse
Crops and Florituclure Program. Center For Agriculture, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.

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