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Impatiens capensis

Common Names: Jewelweed,
Impatiens capensis
Impatiens capensis

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ericales
Family: Balsaminaceae
Genus: Impatiens
Species: Impatiens capensis

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

The jewelweed has flowers that are yellow to orange-red and hang towards the ground. The stems are smooth and semi-translucent, with leaves that alternate on the upper stem. The leaves are rounded, slightly toothed, and a pale color underneath. Jewelweeds contain seed pods that will erupt when touched.

Habitat & Range

The jewelweed can be found in moist and shady habitats, particularly in woodlands, along streams, and in wetlands. They can be found throughout much of the eastern US and in parts of Canada.


Jewelweed has explosive seed pods that allows the seeds to be dispersed over relatively long distances. When the seed pods are mature, they can explode when touched, sending seeds flying up to several feet away from the plant.

Life Cycle

Jewelweed is a fast-growing annual plant and can grow from a seed and reach maturity in a single growing season. In early spring, seedlings emerge from the soil and begin to grow. The plant typically blooms from July-September, with the peak blooming period occurring in August.

Featured image by James Dake.


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