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While today’s impatiens, a shade-loving hybrid of African species, was virtually unknown in gardens until after World War II, balsam, which is native to Southeast Asia, was a well-known favorite by 1900. Balsam grows well in both sun and shade, and we recommend areas with some protection from afternoon sun. It sprouts in only 4-5 days and flowers early, growing to be 12-24″ tall. The narrow plants hold their blooms close to the central stem.