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Thursday, January 03, 2019

Planting With Kids - Balsam Plant

Here is an easy to plant and quite hardy flowering plant to plant together with kids at home. Bunga Keembong/Balsam Flower/凤仙花 fèng xiān huā. You can also use it to explain primary school science on dispersion of seeds.

One of the examples that is frequently given for explosive mechanism for seed dispersal is this plant. It's really fun to watch it grow too. We planted ours from a packet of seeds we bought. The seeds take about 8-10 days to germinate and about 2 months to flower. Usually seed packets cost around RM5. Now we have a whole row of them but only one stalk has flowered so far. Eagerly awaiting the rest.....

The plant's scientific name is Impatiens Balsamina. Apparently, Impatiens got its name from a Latin word that describes the way they shoot out their seeds when their seed pods open as if they're impatient to grow and multiply. I couldn't resist adding that last bit in because it does seem that way.  It's a nice story to tell the kids in any case. They're also called touch-me-nots because the seed pods have projectile seeds that explode out of the pods when they are lightly touched when its ripe.

We managed to record the blooms. We spotted the first two blooms on 15th December 2018.

Two days later on 17th December 2018

Four days later on 19th December 2018

8 days later on 23rd December 2018

 10 days later on 26th December 2018.

There are many more buds but we will stop our recording here. Here's a quick playback of the blooms in progress.



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