By William T. Hathaway


Orange Jewelweed or Spotted Touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis) is well known, as that plant, when touched, violently expels its seeds with considerable force from seed capsules. It is a succulent herb with almost translucent stems which may reach 5 feet in height. Orange flowering Jewelweeds are found abundantly scattered in moist places and shaded wetlands.

The yellow flowering species (I. pallida) in lower photo is confined mostly along riverbanks of the Dan and Staunton Rivers. This indicates that its seeds may have been washed down from more mountainous habitats.

In early morning dew leaf edges often have clinging droplets of water that sparkle like jewels. It is said that juice from the crushed stems may relieve itching from poison ivy.