Other posts in the flowers of late summer series:
Today we’re going to look at a unique and special wildflower that blooms in late summer and early autumn. It tends to grow in colonies along wood edges or in woods openings or along forest paths where some sunlight filters through. It also grows along streams and wet areas, for it likes moist soil.
Bonus points for naming the 2 different species of white flowers in the above 2 pictures!
This wildflower is Jewelweed, a member of the Impatiens flower genus. This plant is also called Touch-Me-Not, in reference to its seed pods exploding outwards when touched.
The flowers are unique delicate-looking capsules that attract pollination by bees and hummingbirds. They hang from the stems of the plant. I’ve seen many a hummingbird sipping from these flowers…here’s some pictures of that happening:
The leaves of Jewelweed are easy to identify, long before the flowers bloom. They are symmetrical, ribbed and coarsely toothed. When wet, the leaves take on an almost silvery sheen. This bushy wildflower grows up to 5 feet tall.
There is more than one color of Jewelweed. Orange and yellow are the most common colors. I can’t quite say why one color is in one place while the other color is in another place, other than the distribution seems to be random. Overall, I see more orange than yellow.
There is a rare pale color (whitish) as well. I’ve only seen one patch of this color before.
Jewelweed has been used in remedies to help soothe skin rashes and mosquito bites, though studies haven’t confirmed its efficacy.
Jewelweed can be found in most states in the US. If you find some, study it for a while. It’s one of the more interesting wildflowers out there.