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Impatiens capensis

Common Name(s):
Jewel weed, Touch-me-not
Annuals, Herbs, Native Plants, Wildflowers

Impatiens capensis, commonly called spotted touch-me-not or jewelweed, is a native annual plant of boggy, shady areas. It typically occurs in low woodlands and thickets, along stream banks and in swampy areas. It grows 2-5' tall on weak, watery stems. 

Garden uses include moist shade or woodland gardens, bog gardens, native plant gardens, pond or stream margins and in low spots.

Dew or rain beads up on the leaves forming sparkling droplets which give rise to the common name of jewelweed.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:  Fall            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall

Wildlife Value:  This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  Its flowers are attractive to Ruby Throated hummingbirds in the late summer and fall.  Butterflies will nectar from the blooms.  

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: This plant can prolifically self-seed.

Summer, fall
Part shade, shade
3-5 ft.
USDA Hardiness Zone 2-11
Jewelweed has oval, coarsely-toothed, bluish-green leaves (to 3.5" long). The leaves are alternate with thin elliptic to egg-shaped leaves with coarsely toothed margins. The underside of the leaves are partly fuzzy. The leaves are 1.5-3.5 inches long. Native Americans used the watery plant juices to relieve itching associated with poison ivy, stinging nettle, and insect bites.
Jewelweed features 1" long, rear-spurred, cornucopia-shaped, orange to orange-yellow flowers with reddish-brown spotting. The flowers bloom throughout the summer. Each flower dangles from a leaf axil on its own slender stalk. The flower has three sepals with the lower one extended backward as a spur. Each has five petals of unequal size and five stamens. The pistil is composed of five united carpels. Flowers give way to slender seed capsules which when ripe explosively split open at a touch dispersing the tiny seeds within in all directions, hence the common name of touch-me-not.
Herbaceous annual
Jewelweed is easily grown in medium to wet soils in part shade to full shade. It does best in wet, humusy soils in part shade. This plant is an annual which remains in the landscape through self-seeding and can become somewhat aggressive under ideal growing conditions. Will often form large colonies in the wild.
Life Cycle:
cpp, annual, summer, fall, wildflower, yellow, shade, orange, red, pollinators, butterflies

NCCES plant id: 2620

Impatiens capensis Impatiens capensis growth habit
dbarronoss, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0