Jewelweed

Impatiens capensis

Jewelweed: water beads on the leaves and glistens like jewels

Jewelweed or touch-me-not is a tall annual that grows in moist areas, usually along the banks of streams, rivers and ponds.  The leaves are somewhat toothed and blue-green in color. Raindrops tend to bead up on the leaves, giving it a “bejeweled” appearance in sunshine.

The trumpet-like or funnel-shaped flowers are yellowish-orange with spots of darker orange in the throat. (There is also an all-yellow variety, so see the gallery.) The flower terminates in a delightful twist toward the back of the trumpet.

The name “touch-me-not” comes from the observation that ripe seeds of this plant will explode with a quick “pop” when prodded by a touch.  Who can’t admire that special quality?

Jewelweed has been used as an herbal remedy to relieve the irritation caused by poison ivy, stinging nettle, and bee stings.

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