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Impatiens capensis

Common Name: Jewelweed
Family: Balsaminaceae

Description: This annual plant is know for it unusual flowers and succulent stem.
The leaves are egg shaped and coarsely toothed. 
These beautiful and distinctive flowers are found on drooping stocks and are orange and spotted with red-brown. The shape consists of a sac with a spur recurved parallel to it. They appear in July - September. 
The green seed pods pop to the touch and release the seeds.
Stem: The stems are green, smooth and erect. They are a succulent and produce juice when broken.
Branching Pattern:
Height: 2-5 ft 
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: They can be found in wet shady areas such as swamps and floodplains.
Known Wildlife Interactions: Hummingbirds drink nectar from the flowers.
Range: Found in eastern North America from Newfoundland to the Northwest Territory of Canada and then south to Florida. They are also naturalized in Ireland. 
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Not threatened in U.S. or globally. 
Uses (Human): The juice from the stems can be used to counteract the effects of poison ivy in some people.


Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains.  February 23, 2005.  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <>

Connecticut Wildflowers.  January 20, 2006.  Connecticut Botanical Society.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <>

Plants for a Future.  June 2004.  Accessed: January 20, 2006.  <>

The Pennsylvania Flora Project.  Botany Department, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <>

Newcomb, Lawrence. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide. 1977. pg. 54

Redington, Charles B. Plants in Wetlands. Redington Field Guides.1994. pg. 210

Peterson, Roger T., MicKenny, Margaret. Wildflowers: Northeast/ North-Central Amercia. Peterson Field Guides.1996. pg.208

Chadde, Steve W. A Great Lake Wetland Flora. Pocketflora Press. 2002. pg. 143

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species <>

This page was created by: A Coiro, Muhlenberg College
Photos by: L. Rosenberg, edited by N. Smith
Last updated 02/25/06