Orange Jewel-weed
(Orange Touch Me Not - Spotted Touch Me Not)
Inpatiens capensis - Meerburgh
Balsaminaceae (Touch-Me-Not) Family

Jewel Weed is an annual or perennial with somewhat succulent stems. The leaves are alternate and simple. Flowers are irregular, three sepals, two forming a saclike structure with a spur; five petals, orange or yellow; ovarty superior, five swtamens. Fruit is a capsule that springs open upon being touched or moved at maturity.

Plant is an upright, smooth, branched annual with hollow stems. Its preferred habitat is edges of streams, wet alluvian woods, marshes. Distributuion in the Escambia region is throughout.

The leaves are alternate, simple (one part), on leaf stalks (petiolate) elliptic or ovate in outline, with margins toothed and base rounded.

Fruit is a capsule.

The flowers are axillary clusters. Each flower is bisexual in nature (perfect), irregular in form. There will be three sepals, with the middle sepal saceate and modified into a spur. Look for five petals; both sepals and petals are orange to red in color, usually spotted; five stamens. Flowers occur in the summer.

The fruit at maturity snaps open suddenly upon the slightest touch, dispersing the seeds. The name Jewel Weed comes from the shibny, silvery appearance of the leaf when placed under water. It is reported that rubbing the leaves on the skin will relieve the pain of stinging nettle and prevent poison ivy dermatitis.


Yellow Jewelweed, Impatiens pallida
(Jellow Jewelweed - Pale Touch Me Not - Yellow Touch Me Not)

Plant is an upright, smooth, few branched annual with a water pipe stem (hollow). Preferred habitat is swamps and wet alluvial soils. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are alternate on the stem; thin; and about four inches long; consisting of one whole part; stalked; widest at the middle to being egg-shaped. Leaf margins are toothed and base is usually rounded.

Flowers are bright yellow arising from the leaf axil; bisexual; irregular in shape; three sepals with the middle sepal forming a pouch and modified into a spur; five sepals are also yellow. Flower is not spotted as is seen in the related I. capensis (above). Flowers occur in the spring and summer.

Fruit is a capsule that pops when mature.

This soft-stemmed annual is less common than the spotted variety. The sensitive
triggering of seeds from the ripe capsule alludes to the common name. A related purple flowered species, I. glandulifera, is found in the Midwest.

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