Fall Wildflowers of New England
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Jewelweed
Impatiens capensis
F. Balsaminaceae
General Description:

Jewelweed is tall leafy plant that grows approximately 60-150 cm. in height. These wildflowers are often found in clumps as thick tangled growths. Jewel weed is easily identified by its distinctive, bilaterally symmetrical, orange and red-speckled bloom. The bright green leaves are lanceolate with regular scalloped margins.

Impatiens capensis
Flowers:

The bilaterally symmetrical blooms of Jewelweed are orange with light-to-heavy dark orange speckling. Each bloom is characterized by a long corolla measuring approximately 2.5 cm. in length. This corolla opens into a three-lobed bloom made up of five fused petals. The calyx is comprised of three sepals; one of which is modified into an orange, acutely-spurred sac.

Fruit:

The distinctive, green fruit forms as a swollen, pod-like capsule. Each fruit, upon physical contact, explodes releasing multiple, small, rounded seeds.

Leaves:

The leaves are relatively large, measuring approximately 4-9 cm. in length. They are bright green, broadly-lanceolate, and have regular, scalloped margins. Leaves are densely arranged along the stem in an alternate fashion

Habitat:

Jewelweed grows best in shaded wetlands and wooded areas.

Fun Facts:

Other names attributed to this species of Jewelweed included the spotted touch-me-not. The family of this wildflower, Touch-Me-Not, derives its name from the nature of its explosive fruit. Any, even slight, physical contact with these fruit causes them to explode, releasing multiple seeds.

Jewelweed is often pollinated by hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. The deep-orange spotted acts as an attraction for these pollinators.

Jewelweed is a medicinal plant. The sap of the stems is though to relieve Poison Ivy itch and has fungicidal properties that can be used to treat athletes foot.

Impatiens capensis
Impatiens capensis
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