Impatiens Species, Orange Jewelweed, Spotted Jewel Weed, Touch-Me-Not

Impatiens capensis

Family: Balsaminaceae
Genus: Impatiens (im-PAY-shuns) (Info)
Species: capensis (ka-PEN-sis) (Info)
Synonym:Balsamina capensis
Synonym:Balsamina fulva
Synonym:Chrysaea biflora
Synonym:Impatiens biflora
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Gold (yellow-orange)

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Morrilton, Arkansas

Ponca, Arkansas

Shirley, Arkansas

Calistoga, California

San Leandro, California

East Windsor, Connecticut

Atlanta, Georgia

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

Columbus, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Guysville, Ohio

Lynchburg, Ohio

Springboro, Ohio

Williamsburg, Ohio

Cheshire, Oregon

Gearhart, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Seaside, 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

Parrottsville, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Blacksburg, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

South Boston, Virginia

Kent, Washington

Liberty, West Virginia

Ellsworth, Wisconsin

Muscoda, Wisconsin

Pewaukee, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 14, 2017, kathleenteeple from Gearhart, OR wrote:

This plant sneaked onto our 20 acre property on the Oregon coast and has choked out dining room size patches along all the water's edges. It will take over if we don't control it. We have had to spend hours pulling it. Be very careful before you intentionally plant this stuff.


On Jun 16, 2013, Cville_Gardener from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) 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.


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.


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.


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..


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. :-)



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.


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 w... read more


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 re... read more


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.