Jewel Weed / Spotted Touch-Me-Not
(Orange Jewelweed - Orange Touch Me Not - Spotted Touch Me Not)
Impatiens capensis
Balsaminaceae (Touch-Me-Not) Family

 

Jewel Weed is an upright, smooth, branched annual with a hollow stem (water pipe). Pre-
ferred habitat is the edge of streams, moist alluvial woods and marshes.  Distribution is throughout the Escambia region except directly at seashore.

The leaves are alternate on the stem, consist-
ing of one part; margins toothed; no lobes. Shape is egg-shaped in outline to elliptic (widest at the middle).  Leaf stalks are long and slender.

Flowers arise from the leaf axil in clusters of 1 to (usually 1); bisexual, irregular in form; three sepals, with the middle sepal being shaped like a sac and then modified into a spur; five petals.

Both petals and sepals are orange to red and usually spotted; five stamens.  Flowers occur in late summer and early autumn.

Fruit (seed) is a capsule which snaps open at maturity upon the slightest touch, dispersing the seeds.

The name Jewel Weed comes from the shiny, silvery appearance of the leaf when placed under water. The flower is well adapted to hummingbird visitation; but bees and butterflies are also important pollinators. The stem juice is said to relieve itching from poison ivy and has been used to treat athlete's foot.  Much scientific data has confirmed its fungicidal qualities.

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