Impatiens spp. - Pale Jewelweed, Touch-me-not, Spotted Touch-me-not


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This is the Pale Jewelweed, Impatiens pallida.

A tall gangly plant with translucent, very succulent stems. The flower is either yellow (Pale) or golden-orange, spotted with a reddish-brown and hangs from the middle of the single stem which holds it. The fruit is a swollen elliptical capsule that pops open, hurling the seeds some distance. Plant height is 2 - 6'.

June to October

Wet woods and meadows. Along stream banks and in the mountains by wet, shady limestone or neutral-soiled sites.

I've always been fond of Jewelweed. Besides the pretty flower, the one reason Jewelweed got its name becomes apparent if you take one of the leaves and put it underwater. The silvery look is very jewel-like. The reason for the name Touch-me-not, is that the seed capsules means of disbursal. Touch a ripe seed pot and it will curl and twist very rapidly shooting seeds a ways away.

Jewelweed generally occurs in large stands, owing in part to its unique method of disbursing seeds. Bees and butterflies are the main pollinators, but hummingbirds have been known to visit.

Scientific tests have given creedence to Jewelweed's anti-fungal and skin-soothing properties. Interestingly, it can usually be found in moist areas where poison Ivy grows and is a decent 'antidote' for it. Crush the watery stems and leaves in your hand and rub vigorously on the affected area. It soothes and helps prevent spreading of the poison Ivy oils.

This is Jewelweed or Spotted Touch-me-not, Impatiens capensis.


My observations about this plant can be found at:


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