Impatiens capensis

Spotted Jewelweed

Spotted Touch-Me-Not

Names and Myths

Impatiens Impatience

Touch-me-not taken from the seed pods which burst open if touched when ripe. capensis Cape of Good Hope. This name took priority by 13 years over I. biflora, but unfortunately is based on a mistake Meerburgh described it based on English garden specimens, which he mistakenly thought had come from S. Africa.17

Natural history / Folklore

Used as a yellow dye, cure for poison ivy, and as a pot herb.6 Deer like it as forage. Native species, taken to England where it has become naturalized.11

Flowers are protandrous, male parts mature first, then decline, female parts develop after the male parts decline.8 In moist places can reach 5’ to 6’ in height.15 Ruby-throated hummingbirds are a major pollinator of jewelweeds, their bills being long enough to reach the nectar, then pick up pollen and transport it to the next flower.17
Species List Family Group
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July - September Yellow flowers with reddish-brown spotted throats. Hollow stems. Spotted jewelweed favors wet sites, pale jewelweed grows on somewhat drier sites.8