Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Spotted Jewel Weed, Touch-Me-Not
Impatiens capensis

Family: Balsaminaceae
Genus: Impatiens (im-PAY-shuns) (Info)
Species: capensis (ka-PEN-sis) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

29 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By melody
Thumbnail #1 of Impatiens capensis by melody

By DaylilySLP
Thumbnail #2 of Impatiens capensis by DaylilySLP

By melody
Thumbnail #3 of Impatiens capensis by melody

By poppysue
Thumbnail #4 of Impatiens capensis by poppysue

By poppysue
Thumbnail #5 of Impatiens capensis by poppysue

By arsenic
Thumbnail #6 of Impatiens capensis by arsenic

By poppysue
Thumbnail #7 of Impatiens capensis by poppysue

There are a total of 34 photos.
Click here to view them all!


12 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Cville_Gardener On Jun 16, 2013, Cville_Gardener from Middle TN
United States (Zone 7a) wrote:

A prolific re-seeder but very easy to pull out the unwanted plants. Grows well in damp or wet soil at at the edge of woods.

Macerate the leaves to apply to poison ivy and other skin rashes.

Positive andrizzle On Sep 7, 2012, andrizzle from Clay, NY wrote:

This plant grows wild in my back yard along an east-facing creek bank with no help from me. It blooms profusely for well over a month and is about 5 feet tall! It is a beautiful, unique plant; I almost hate to call it a weed.
Bees love this.

Positive Lillylila On Aug 6, 2010, Lillylila from Cannelton, IN wrote:

I love this weed and so do butterflies, hummingbirds and moths. It's at the edge of my woods by a creek and there's always lots of insects enjoying it's nectar. It's a keeper and is great for a wildlife habitat along with other perennials and annuals in the garden.

Neutral Kim_M On May 14, 2010, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have to say...I do love this plant. And want to comment on the germination of the seeds. I've heard some say the seeds have to be fresh to germinate. An only want to try fresh seeds. This plant in my opinion and studies will not germinate the same year the seed is produced. This plant also will not germinate without cold treatment. Regardless if the seed is 10 years old or not. If it doesn't get a cold/moist season it wont be coming up! With all that being said..Once you have one plant you will see it forever. Therefore be careful where you plant it because it will be there to stay. Easy to spot and pull unwanted seedlings. It is an annual..

Positive Baileydog6 On Sep 14, 2009, Baileydog6 from North Billerica, MA wrote:

I have this wild plant on the edge of my woods. The deer eat this plant and leave my other plants alone. I am greatful for it as the deer dont come into my yard, but eat the big patch of jewelweed growing on the edge. I also enjoy how it looks. I havent seen hummingbirds on it though. But have seen many on my other flowers in my yard.

Positive grik On Aug 1, 2009, grik from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

Besides providing food for hummingbirds and bees, this plant seems to be a real japanese beetle magnet in my garden.

I am thinking they tend to eat this instead of my other plants because they really seem to concentrate their attentions on it.

Positive ridgebax1 On Aug 12, 2008, ridgebax1 from Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Hi Everyone

I remember having this plant in my yard growing up and loved to pop the seed heads. I have always seen the orange or yellow variety. Has anyone ever seen this plant in a lavender and white variety? I saw some plants at our local zoo and collected some seeds. Should they be planted outside now or in the spring?

Negative Malus2006 On Jun 3, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This species have took hold in my grandma's clay soil and is a profic seeder, so it is tough to get rid of them it's easy to miss five or more plants - they will overshadow smaller plants.

Neutral OzziesMom On Aug 1, 2006, OzziesMom from Acton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Grows on woodland edges but also in perennial beds, where it has to be removed regularly. Looking for controls other than pulling when it appears, though it is easily identified.

Positive CaptMicha On May 26, 2006, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've observed this plant growing in the wild along the side of the road or woods, where moist and shady areas occur, usually in the proximity of a stream.

As already stated, the plant soothes skin irritations and is an excellent source for hummingbirds. It's said that no matter where jewel weed is on the property, hummingbirds will find it.

Since it's such a delicate annual, this plant needs to spring the seeds in-order to find the most favorable spot to ensure some seedling's success and thus, carrying on the cycle.

Even if prolific (which I've never observed as such), the plant is easily pulled up cleanly.

Positive grikdog On Aug 23, 2005, grikdog from St. Paul, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This is a weed in my garden but I enjoy it just the same.

Positive julie88 On Sep 19, 2004, julie88 from Muscoda, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

Folklore tells us that the Spotted Jewel Weed usually grows right next to the poison ivy that it relieves. In my case, that's absolutely true. It does grow adjacent to poison ivy in my neck of the woods...and it has definitely kept me out of trouble while trying to get rid of the poisonous plant in my flower beds. If I accidently "whip" poison ivy across my bare skin, I immediately crush the Spotted Jewel Weed leaves in my hands and rub them over the area, I'm assured that I'll not break out. For me, it works better than anything I can buy at the drugstore.

So wherever Spotted Jewel Weed chooses to put itself in my yard, it's an honored guest. :-)


Neutral CatskillKarma On Jul 10, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

I like the way this stuff looks, but it self-seeds prolifically in my damp yard and along roadsides and waste places in elsewhere in the Catskills. My Woodstock friends tell me it is a mild hallucinogen.

Positive possumtrot On Jul 9, 2004, possumtrot from Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I found this plant in my back yard of Western Kentucky. It is used as a natural herbal remedy for : poison ivy/oak, okra spines, stinging nettle and soothes bug bites and razor burn. The seeds are considered edible if you can catch them because they explode when touched. You can blend the stems and leaves with a little water and freeze in ice cube trays of simply crush and rub stem on poison ivy rash. The orange & red trumpet shaped flower has 3 petels and is 'strongly zygomorphic'. The stem and sepal are attached near the face of the flower and petels extend downward. Leaves are pale green and soft, ovated w/ rounded teeth. Seed's are elongated corn-ear-shaped 1 inch long with 4 flaps that come together. Flowers are 1 inch long and it flowers from July to Sept. If the leaf is held under water it has a silver sheen. Be careful because this plant is usually found near poison ivy/oak. Likes shade and plenty of water.

Positive JenniesWorld On Apr 5, 2004, JenniesWorld from Spencer, WV wrote:

This magnificent wild impatiens sports a beautiful orange or yellow flower (Pale Jewelweed), like a small Orchid. They grow in profusion in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, particularly in moist areas. The stem is fleshy and the sap has definite beneficial uses. When applied to the skin, it stops the itch of insect bites, poison ivy, nettle stings, and athlete's foot. It contains a natural fungicide (Reader's Digest North American Wldlife). We have used the sap and it definitely works!
Seeds are in a long pod that is "spring loaded" with the seeds being propelled out almost explosively when touched! To gather seed, clasp palm around the ripe pod and keep hand closed to prevent losing the seed. They open themselves if ripe. If pods do not "pop" when touched, they are not ready to gather. The plants also self-seed.
Plants can reach up to five or six feet in ideal conditions, but are more usually two to four feet in height. They grow well on creek banks.
The small Carpenter Bees, Bumble Bees, and Orchard bees love these flowers and are the prime pollenators.

Positive pd On May 27, 2003, pd wrote:

Soon after blooming the plant will form small, bean like pods that when mature will pop open when touched expelling the seeds in all directions. It is best to have a zip lock plastic bag placing it over the seed pod then touching the pod to cause it to open. Seeds can be planted immediatly in wet soil or sand and it does very well as a margin plant in a home pond and will grow in water alone. seeds can be saved till fall ,but do not allow them to dry out. This is a great humming bird plant. Due to the high moisture content of the stems, this plant will die after a solid freeze.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Morrilton, Arkansas
Shirley, Arkansas
Calistoga, California
San Leandro, California
East Windsor, Connecticut
Anna, Illinois
Divernon, Illinois
Bremen, Indiana
Cannelton, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Benton, Kentucky
Flemingsburg, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Prospect, Kentucky
Caribou, Maine
Winthrop, Maine
Brookeville, Maryland
Cumberland, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Acton, Massachusetts
East Brookfield, Massachusetts
North Billerica, Massachusetts
Southborough, Massachusetts
Weymouth, Massachusetts
Worcester, Massachusetts
Atlanta, Michigan
Brown City, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Erie, Michigan
Gaines, Michigan
Ludington, Michigan
Paris, Michigan
Saint Helen, Michigan
Hibbing, Minnesota
Isle, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota (2 reports)
Cole Camp, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Croton On Hudson, New York
Deposit, New York
Jamesville, New York
Port Washington, New York
Schenectady, New York
West Kill, New York
Boone, North Carolina
Burlington, North Carolina
Marion, North Carolina
Centerburg, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Lynchburg, Ohio
Springboro, Ohio
Williamsburg, Ohio
Cheshire, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Cranberry Twp, Pennsylvania
Erie, Pennsylvania
Hatfield, Pennsylvania
Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
Valencia, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Chepachet, Rhode Island
Wakefield, Rhode Island
Fair Play, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Blacksburg, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
South Boston, Virginia
Kent, Washington
Liberty, West Virginia
Ellsworth, Wisconsin
Muscoda, Wisconsin
Pewaukee, Wisconsin

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America