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(Impatiens capensis)


Other Names:

Spotted Touch Me Not



Balsaminaceae Touch Me Not family

Identifying characteristics:

Growth Type:

An annual herbaceous plant.


3 - 5 ft in height


The leaves are oval and toothed. The lower leaves are arranged opposite, while the upper leaves are alternate.


The stems are somewhat translucent, succulent and have swollen or darkened nodes.





Summer to Autumn


The flowers are orange with red spots and a three-lobed corolla; one of the calyx lobes is colored similarly to the corolla and forms a hooked conical spur at the back of the flower.


The seed pods are pendant and have projectile seeds that explode out of the pods when they are lightly touched, if ripe, which is where the name touch-me-not comes from.

Miscellaneous characteristics:



Bottomland soils, ditches, and along creeks, often growing side-by-side with its less common relative, Yellow Jewelweed

Parts Used:

Aerial parts


Wild Food Uses:

None Known

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:

Traditionally Jewelweed has been used to treat skin rashes and irritations. I have used it to soothe a friend's poison ivy rash. I have heard it works as a preventative for poison ivy, but cannot personally attest to this.


You can preserve Jewelweed for use throughout the year by making a simple Jewelweed vinegar. Fill a mason jar with finely chopped or crushed jewelweed, and fill it once again with apple cider vinegar. Cover, and place in a cupboard for four weeks. Make sure to shake it at least once a day for the first week or so. After the four weeks pour the contents of the jar through a strainer lined with cheesecloth, into a large bowl. Pour the vinegar back into the cleaned jar. The covered jar will keep in a cupboard for about a year. I use this vinegar to soothe itches throughout the year. All you need to do is put a bit of it into a spray bottle, and spray it onto itchy skin to immediately alleviate the itch. If you do not have a spray bottle, you can apply the vinegar with a cloth or paper towel just as easily.


Jewelweed herbal preparation links:

Soothing Jewelweed Ointment

Medicinal Actions:

Antipruritic, Demulcent, Emollient

Notice how the morning dew condenses to drops on the leaves. These jewels glistening in the morning sun is where the plant gets one of its common names.

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Revised: 05/11/16 Living Afield