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Impatiens noli-tangere - L.

Common Name Touch-Me-Not
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 By streams, wet ground in woods in N. Wales, the Lake District, Yorkshire and Lancashire[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia to France, east to Macedonia and temperate Asia.
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 noli-tangere Touch-Me-Not


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Impatiens noli-tangere Touch-Me-Not
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Impatiens noli-tangere is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
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

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Young shoots - cooked[105, 172]. See the notes above on toxicity. Seed - raw. A delicious nutty flavour but rather difficult to harvest[172], mainly because of their exploding seed capsules which scatter the ripe seed at the slightest touch[K].

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.

Antiseptic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Laxative.

The plant is antiseptic, diuretic, strongly emetic, laxative and vulnerary[4, 9, 61]. It has been used in the treatment of stranguary and haemorrhoids[4]. The plant is occasionally used internally in the treatment of haemorrhoids and as a laxative and diuretic, but the dose must be carefully adhered to since large quantities are strongly emetic[9]. The plant is harvested at any time in the summer[9].

Other Uses

None known

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].

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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 or the autumn[4].

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 capensisJewelweed32
Impatiens ecalcarata 22
Impatiens edgeworthii 00
Impatiens glanduliferaJewelweed, Ornamental jewelweed31
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

L.

Botanical References

17

Links / References

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

Readers comment

Lia de Ruiter   Sun Apr 25 07:55:18 2004

Thank you very much for this very useful information. I live in the Netherlands, at the North Sea coast. Temperatures drop below zero in Winter (sometimes), but this plant (Impatiens noli-tangere) grows abundantly in the woods in my area. I harvested some seeds there and sowed some in my garden...Now I have lots of seedlings growing in my garden... Kind regards, Lia de Ruiter Scheveningen, The Hague, the Netherlands)

Sherri   Fri May 20 03:09:41 2005

I'd read at another site that the seeds were edible, so I'm glad I read this page to learn that they had to be cooked, contained oxalate.

Link: Poison Ivy Treatment Jewelweed The leaves and the juice from the stem of Jewelweed are used to cure poison ivy and other plant induced rashes. Jewelweed works by counter-reacting with the chemicals in other plants that cause irritation.

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