Plant Detail

Impatiens capensis

* Common Name:

spotted touch me not, jewelweed

* Genus:

Impatiens

* Species:

capensis

Subspecies:

* Family (scientific):

Balsaminaceae

* Family (common):

Touch Me Not

Synonyms :

* Distribution in Canada:

Saskatchewan
Ontario
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
P.E.I.
Newfoundland

 

Photographer: Alex Hume.

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Habitat

Ecozone(s):

Boreal Shield
Atlantic Maritime
Mixedwood Plains
Prairies

Natural Habitat(s):

Woodland (35-60% cover)
Wet Meadow/Prairie/Field (less than 25% cover)

Habitat Garden(s):

Woodland
Prairie/Meadow

Erosion Control?

Characteristics
 
Growing Conditions

* Plant Type:

Wildflower

Moisture Requirements: Moist, Wet

Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade

Soil Requirements:

Temperature Zone:

Evergreen?

No

Average Height:

60 to 150 cm

Tolerances:

Flower Info
 
Fruit/Seed Info

Showy flowers?

Yes

Showy fruit/seeds?

No

Bloom time:

Jul to Oct

Edible for humans?

No

Flower Colour(s):

Yellow, Orange, Green/Brown

Fruit/Seed Colour(s):

Black, Green, Brown

Miscellaneous
 
Uses

Fragrant Flowers?

No

Urban Oasis, Stewards in the City, and Eco Superior are specific Evergreen programs that some plants are used in.

Fragrant Foliage?

No

Program & Other Uses:

Medicinal

Fall colours?

No

Distinctive bark?

No

Poisonous to humans?

No

Thorns or prickles?

No

Attracts wildlife?

Birds
Hummingbirds
Butterflies
Bees

Larval host for:

Provincial tree/flower?

Plant Watch species?

No

Interesting Tidbits
 
References

Seed pods 'explode'.

The stem juice is said to relieve itching from poison ivy and has also been used to treat athlete's foot. Scientific data confirm the fungicidal qualities. (Niering)

Habitat Information: Jewel weed is a common plant in wet areas in full shade thickets, deciduous forests, and meadows, riparian habitats such as pond edges, full shade forest rocky seeps, streams and lakeshores to full sun conditions, in organic soil to areas which have very little soil, and seasonally wet to dry, such as rocky shores. (Evergreen)

The flowers attract ruby throated hummingbirds. Gamebirds such as ruffed grouse, ring necked pheasant, greater prairie chicken and bobwhite quail eat the seeds. White tailed deer browse, white footed mice also eat the seeds. (Illinois Wildflowers)

Garden Info: Seeds are dispersed in a very unique way, when touched they explode. (Johnson, L., The new Ontario Naturalized Garden, 1999)

This plant morphs in size according to the availability of moisture and the richness of habitat; in dryer conditions, it can be under 30 cm, and can be as large as 1.5 m in richer and more moist sites.

This plant is a great choice in a wet, and full sun or part shade pond garden, downspout garden, bioswale or stormwater pond, where water is captured and held to create periodic or constant wet conditions. (Evergreen)

Insect Relationships: Long tongued bees, including bumblebees and honeybees, swallowtail butterflies, bumblebees, various smaller insects (e.g., Syrphid flies), caterpillars of moths including Euchlaena obtusaria, Spilosoma latipennis (pink legged tiger moth), Trichodezia albovittata (white striped black), and Xanthorhoe lacustrata (toothed brown carpet). (Illinois Wildflowers)

Traditional Edible, Medicinal Uses: Jewel weed is a much used plant in treatment for poison ivy. It is found to be anti inflammatory externally, and used to treat other skin problems such as fungal dermatitis, nettle stings, rash, burns, warts, bruises, burns and cuts. It is not believed to be safe for eating. The juice is a fungicide. The plant contains calcium oxalate. The plant has been widely used in domestic herbalism. (Plants for a Future)

Plants for a Future

Illinois Wildflowers

Ontario Wildflowers
Linda Kershaw
Lone Pine Publishing
2002
ISBN 1-55101-285-7

National Audubon Society: Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region
National Audubon Society
Alfred A. Knopf, New York
1979
ISBN: 0-394-50432-1



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