Please help identify this plant

DreamingoftheUP(5)April 1, 2014

A little background - my mom and aunts all had this plant in their flower gardens. They would save the seeds every year and replant the next. That generation is all gone now, no seeds were saved, an no one in the family from my generation knows the real name of this plant. Unfortunately, I have no picture - this is by description only - based on my memory as a kid 40 years ago.

It is an annual and my mom and aunts called it "Italian Roses" however it isn't a rose and no idea if it's Italian. The plant grew about 6" to 7" tall, on a single, thick stem that was reddish. The leaves formed a bushy mass on top of the stem, were light green and strap-like, coming to a point. The flowers were shades of red, maybe about the size of a penny, but had layered petals, like a rose. The seeds were in a green pod, maybe about a half-inch long. The pod was sort of under tension, because it would pop open with a popping sound when you pressed it. We kids would pick them and pop them for the sound. My mom would scold us and tell us to leave enough for her to save the seeds for next year.

I have never seen them in various garden centers and have not seen them in any seed catalogs. Any ideas?

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Impatiens balsamina perhaps.

Here is a link that might be useful: images

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 8:29PM
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Why, I believe you're right! That definitely looks like it and it even has the popping seed pods. Thank you very much! I'm going to give them a try this year. I've already found several sources for seeds online.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 10:13PM
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