Jewelweed

Buffy and I took some time to visit Glen O. Jones Lake for an easy hike. It was sunny, windy with a comfortable temperature. The water level was still low from our drought, and the bare sides of the lake had grown up with thick vegetation.

Jewelweed ( Impatiens capensis) grew in a large sprawling clump near the water’s edge. It’s an annual and is also called touch-me-not, because of the ways seeds scatter when a seed capsule is touched.

Up to 3 flowers bloom on drooping pedicels on the upper part of the plant. The flower are 1 inch long.

Insects would have to go into the flower to find the nectar. This way they pass a cluster of stamens underneath the ovary at the mouth of the flower.

Only the head and thorax of this bumblebee fit inside the flower. With stopping at several flowers, it would pick up and deposit pollen with each one it visited. Butterflies and hummingbirds also visit jewelweed.

Jewelweed grows in moist shady areas. There’s a less common yellow one that I’ve seen growing in swamps. The plants have a weak succulent stem that breaks easily. The juice from the stem helps to relieve itching from poison ivy.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. You’re a source for inspiration and information! 🙂 I especially like the last picture where you can see the bumblebee half way in. Must be very yummy!

    Reply

    • Thanks. It was so windy that day. I took picture after picture, hoping to get a few good ones. Then in came the bumblebee. I had one chance, and still laughing about the pose.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Therese on September 23, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Glad I’m sitting down! I have used jewelweed for poison ivy in the past. I recognize it when I hike but I never got a close-up look at the beauty of the flowers. Wow! Your photos are super. Like the bumblebee…

    Reply

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