A visual encyclopedia of northern U.S. wildflowers

Spotted Touch-Me-Not

Impatiens capensis

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Flowers orange, medium-sized, irregular shape.

The touch-me-not has orange flowers with dark spots and markings. During the summer months, it forms thick stands in wet areas, stream banks, and pond edges. The name "touch-me-not" refers to its seed pods, which build up internal pressure as they dry out. When touched, the seed pod rapidly splits open into coiled segments that eject the seeds several inches away, thus aiding dispersal.

The juice of the stem has been traditionally used good for treating rashes, itching, or inflammation of the skin, although there is little research on its actul efficacy.

This species is also known as Orange Jewelweed. A related species, Pale Jewelweed, has yellow flowers.

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