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Impatiens capensis

Common Name: Jewelweed
Family: Balsaminaceae


Description: This annual plant is know for it unusual flowers and succulent stem.
Leaves:
The leaves are egg shaped and coarsely toothed. 
Flowers:
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. 
Seeds: 
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:
 Alternate  
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.

References:

Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains.  February 23, 2005.  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/othrdata/plntguid/species/polysagi.htm>

Connecticut Wildflowers.  January 20, 2006.  Connecticut Botanical Society.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006. <http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/polygonumsagi.html>

Plants for a Future.  June 2004.  Accessed: January 20, 2006.  <http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Polygonum+sagittatum>

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

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 <http://www.iucnredlist.org>

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