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Impatiens glandulifera - Royle.

Common Name Jewelweed, Ornamental jewelweed
Family Balsaminaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards Regular ingestion of large quantities of these plants can be dangerous due to their high mineral content[172]. This report, which seems nonsensical, might refer to calcium oxalate. This mineral is found in I. capensis and so is probably also in other members of the genus. It can be harmful raw but is destroyed by thoroughly cooking or drying the plant[K]. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet[238].
Habitats Shrubberies and bushy places, often on grazing ground, frequently gregarious, 1800 - 4000 metres in the Himalayas[51]. Grows on river banks and waste places in Britain[17].
Range E. Asia - W. Himalayas - Pakistan to Uttar Pradesh. Naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Impatiens glandulifera Jewelweed, Ornamental jewelweed

G.A. Cooper @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Impatiens glandulifera Jewelweed, Ornamental jewelweed


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Impatiens glandulifera is a ANNUAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 6. It is in flower from August to October, and the seeds ripen from September to November. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


I. roylei.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Oil  Oil  Seed  Shoots
Edible Uses: Oil  Oil

Young leaves and shoots - cooked[172, 183]. They should not be used on a regular basis, see warning at top of record[172]. Seed - raw[105, 177]. A delicious nutty flavour[183], but difficult to harvest in quantity mainly because of their exploding seed capsules which scatter the ripe seed at the slightest touch[K] An edible oil is obtained from the seed[17, 177, 183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Impatience', 'Irritability' and 'Extreme mental tension'[209]. It is also one of the five ingredients in the 'Rescue remedy'[209].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Oil  Oil

An oil from the seed is used for lighting[17, 177].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in any reasonably good soil[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist well-drained humus rich soil in a cool site[200]. Self sows in areas where the minimum temperature is no lower than -15°c[200]. This plant has seed capsules that spring open forcibly as the seed ripens to eject the seed a considerable distance. The capsules are sensitive to touch even before the seed is ripe, making seed collection difficult but fun[K].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. A period of cold stratification may help to improve germination rates. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed, it is worthwhile trying an outdoor sowing in situ in the spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Cardamine impatiensNarrowleaf bittercressAnnual/Biennial0.6 4-8  LMHSNMWe210
Impatiens aurellaPaleyellow touch-me-notAnnual0.0 0-0  LMHSNM222
Impatiens balsaminaRose Balsam, Spotted snapweed, Touch-Me-Not, Garden BalsamAnnual0.6 0-0 MLMHSNM222
Impatiens capensisJewelweedAnnual1.2 - FLMHSNM322
Impatiens ecalcarata Annual0.0 -  LMHSNM222
Impatiens edgeworthii Annual0.6 -  LMHSNM001
Impatiens noli-tangereTouch-Me-NotAnnual1.0 5-9  LMHSNM32 
Impatiens occidentalis Annual0.0 -  LMHSNM322
Impatiens pallidaPale Jewelweed, Pale touch-me-notAnnual1.5 7-10  LMHSNM332
Impatiens parvifloraSmallflower touchmenotAnnual1.0 0-0  LMHSNM222
Impatiens sulcata Annual1.5 -  LMHSNM20 
Impatiens textori Annual0.6 -  LMHSNMWe10 
Impatiens tingens Annual0.6 -  LMHSNM10 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Ernie Martin   Sat Dec 4 07:24:12 2004

I am looking for seeds for the wine red Glandulifera can you help me? thankk you ernie

Brian Macker   Fri May 13 21:34:58 2005

I have done my good deed for the day. See the link.

Link: Seeds of glandulifera "wine red"

Lesley   Mon Nov 14 2005

How on earth could you recommend planting this stuff. It's a massive alien invader of our riverbanks!

Lia de Ruiter   Fri Mar 17 2006

Lesley, try to see how beautiful this plant is and also look at what you can used it for... Maybe if you try to see its beauty and use, you may not be so negative about this lovely plant!

Picture of Impatiens gladulifera

lena.   Fri Aug 24 2007

as far as i know, jewelweed is the common name for impatiens capensis, not glandulifera. the english plant is called policemans helmet,or indian/himalayan Balsam. which plant is this page about?

Mary Van Eerd   Tue Sep 4 2007

I love this plant. It has been the joy of my garden, attracting and keeping bees busy enough that we can observe them without threat of being stung. The root system is so accomodating that as the plants spring up we are able to adjust the quantity growing in our beds simply by pulling them. The other delight is that children are thrilled year after year by the joy of popping the seeds.

morgan   Thu Oct 2 2008

I tried the link to the wine red seeds and get an error page. Where can I, too, get seeds for red or pink impatiens glandulifera?

Helen Sykes   Thu Apr 2 2009

Himalayan/Indian balsam is an invasive weed in the UK and should only be grown under controlled conditions, which do not allow it's spread. I think this should be mentioned on the website, incase people try to grow it. Like Japanese Knotweed (which should also carry such a warning), it is invading the wild plants of the UK. I have eradicated it completely fro my garden and it is suggested by all botanical literature, that we should all do the same. I often refer to your site, and find it very useful. Thank you.

paul   Thu Jul 9 2009

There are two other issues re this plant (apart from it effectively killing natives due to it's ability to block out light) - because of it's high nectar content they will be favoured by our insects/bee's and they effectively reduce the polination of our 'natural' plants/flowers. The other issue is linked to their liking of river banks - they cause soil erosion and sedimentation in our natural water courses. We are only just starting to experience the bio diversity problems associated with this plant. Please think beyond how pretty it might look before trying to cultivate.....

deb   Sat Aug 15 2009

these beautiful plants grow in my yard. easy enough to control. the temperature in the winter gets to -40. very hardy.

hannah   Sun Oct 11 2009

i am noticing that this plant does have a number of redeeming nutritional, medicinal, and practical uses. i thought the designation of 'noxious weed' was reserved for plants of no redeeming value?

Sara   Tue Oct 13 2009

How can anyone know how good or bad a plant is (or anything else) if there is no way to know WHERE they are writing from???

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