Impatiens capensis Meerb. - Spotted Touch-me-not


 

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Impatiens capensis - (image 1 of 5)

 

Taxonomy

Family: Balsaminaceae

Habitat

Moist woods, calcareous fens, marshes, lake shores.

Associates

 

Distribution

Throughout eastern U.S. and Canada, and parts of the northwest.

Morphology

Annual to 5'. Leaves mostly alternate, sometimes opposite, simple, ovate, cuneate, on distinct petioles, the teeth broadly rounded and mucronate, those of flowering branches rarely more than 8cm long. Stems glabrous, translucent, succulent. Flowers orange, often spotted with red-orange, the fully developed spur more than 6mm long. Fruit a capsule that explodes when mature, scattering the seeds.

Notes

Flowers mid July to late September

Wetland indicator: Facultative Wetland

The flowers of this plant attract bumblebees and hummingbirds. Can be found growing in both shade and sun, although it does not seem to prefer shade as much as I. pallida. Also called jewelweed for the silvery appearance of the leaves when covered in water. The water sap of this plant can be used to sooth the itchy rash caused by poison ivy.

References

Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants:
Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses.
5th ed. Champaign, Illiois: Stipes Publishing L.L.C.

 

Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.
 


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 Michael Hough 2005