The Balsaminaceae in Belgium:
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The Balsaminaceae have a mostly tropical distribution and include only two genera. The genus Hydrocera accounts for one single species while about 1000 species have been described for Impatiens. The mature fruits of Impatiens species are remarkable in how they spread their seeds by almost exploding as soon as a person or an animal touches them. The name of one of our native species, Impatiens noli-tangere (touch-me-not-balsam), reflects this “high sensitivity” and literally means “do not touch!” If you come for a walk in the Botanic Garden in the summer, you can easily spot Impatiens parviflora (small balsam).
The Belgian Herbarium:
The Botanic Garden Meise holds the largest herbarium collection of Belgian plant specimens. Each of these herbarium specimens has a label with valuable information such as the plant’s identification, and when, where, and who collected the plant. These specimens can be used in many domains of research, such as conservation, evolution, ecology and systematics. These data help us to better understand the plants of Belgium, their history and that of people who collected them. There are about 200,000 specimens in the Belgian Herbarium of the Botanic Garden Meise and we want to document them all! These data will then be made available online at www.botanicalcollections.be.
Belgium, Balsaminaceae, Herbae, Hortus Botanicus Meise, Botanica