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Impatiens capensis - Meerb.

Common Name Jewelweed
Family Balsaminaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
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 Along the banks of rivers and canals[5], also in low-lying moist woodlands, avoiding acid soils[62].
Range N. America - Newfoundland to Saskatchewan. Naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Impatiens capensis Jewelweed


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Ram-Man
Impatiens capensis Jewelweed
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Dysmachus

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Impatiens capensis is a ANNUAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. It is in flower from July to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

I. biflora. I. fulva.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed;  Stem.
Edible Uses:

The succulent stems, whilst still young and tender, can be cut up and cooked like green beans[183]. Young leaves and shoots - cooked. They contain calcium oxalate crystals[62]. Calcium oxalate is usually destroyed by thorough cooking[K]. Large quantities of the leaves are purgative[55]. See also the notes above on toxicity.

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.

Antidote;  Poultice;  Stings;  Warts.

Jewelweed was commonly used as a medicinal herb by a number of native North American Indian tribes[257], and has been widely used in domestic medicine. Its main value lies in its external application for wounds and a range of skin complaints. However, it is little used in modern herbalism and is considered to be dangerous and 'wholly questionable' when used internally[4]. The herb is antidote, cathartic, diuretic and emetic[4, 172, 207, 213]. An infusion has been used in the treatment of fevers, difficult urination, measles, stomach cramps, jaundice etc[257]. The juice of the leaves is used externally in the treatment of piles, fungal dermatitis, nettle stings, poison ivy rash, burns etc[4, 172, 207, 213, 257]. The sap is used to remove warts[207]. A poultice of the leaves is applied to bruises, burns, cuts etc[222].

Other Uses

Dye;  Fungicide.

The fresh juice obtained from the plant is a fungicide. This juice can be concentrated by boiling it[62]. A yellow dye has been made from the flowers[4]. It can be made from the whole plant[257].

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 shady site[1, 200]. Plants self-sow in areas where minimum winter temperatures go 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].

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Cardamine impatiensNarrowleaf bittercress21
Impatiens aurellaPaleyellow touch-me-not22
Impatiens balsaminaRose Balsam, Spotted snapweed, Touch-Me-Not, Garden Balsam22
Impatiens ecalcarata 22
Impatiens edgeworthii 00
Impatiens glanduliferaJewelweed, Ornamental jewelweed31
Impatiens noli-tangereTouch-Me-Not32
Impatiens occidentalis 32
Impatiens pallidaPale Jewelweed, Pale touch-me-not33
Impatiens parvifloraSmallflower touchmenot22
Impatiens sulcata 20
Impatiens textori 10
Impatiens tingens 10

 

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Expert comment

Author

Meerb.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

BobR   Thu Sep 4 01:17:36 2003

The American wild touch-me-not is commonly used for treatment of Rhus Sp. allergic contact dermatitis in the US. The mechanism is large tannin molecules bind the urshiol oil on the skin if applied after exposure.

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Subject : Impatiens capensis  
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