HARDY IMPATIENS Impatiens omeiana
This perennial plant illustrates how Chinese flora is once again contributing
to gardens of the world. It was introduced to the West as recently as 1983,
soon after Deng Xiaoping opened China to Western travel. American ecologist Don
Jacobs collected seed from impatiens growing wild in the cloud forests of Mount
Omei in Sichuan Province. It was named omeiana after the mountain, a
sacred site of pilgrimage for Buddhists and a mecca for botanists. Wilson
journeyed to the mountain in 1903 and marveled at its biodiversity. Visitors today can experience the same wonder Wilson did a century ago.