Updated: May 24, 2022
I thought this native little (well it can actually grow up to five feet, so not really little) plant Impatiens capensis deserved a shout out this month. It blooms from June through the fall. It can be found in northern & eastern parts of North America. This plant can be called Jewelweeds or touch-me-nots. It can usually be found in dense areas, and moist areas. This plant is a favorite to hummingbirds, as its nectar is high in sugar. If you are lucky enough to have this wildflower growing in or around your yard, be sure to treasure it!
For centuries people have understood the powerful healing properties of this plant. Jewelweed is anti-inflammatory, has antihistamine and antifungal properties (the anti-fungal properties have actually been scientifically proven). Many people have used the juice, or plant matter from this plant to treat skin aliments, including bug bites, and rashes. However, it is best know for its use treating poison ivy. Ironically, this flower grows right near poison ivy. So amazing, the antidote for poison ivy grows right with poison ivy?? Leave it to Mother Nature to provide everything we need!
This flower is sometimes called "touch me not" because as the seed pods ripen, if you (or a bird, or insect) touch the seed pod it will explode propelling the seeds far and wide. Natures way of ensuring this plant can continue growing and spreading. Interestingly, Jewelweed actually has 2 flowers, the pretty orange spotted flower and a green one that never blooms but drops seeds right by the mother plant. It gets its name "jewelweed" as some think the flowers look like jewels when covered in dew.
This summer while you are out and about see if you can spot the jewelweed, if you do come across some, please share a picture! I'm sure we'd all love to see this pretty, powerful flower.
The Bath Witch has a jewelweed salve that would be a good addition to your outdoor bag. Visit the shop to get yours today.