South Dakota Native Plant Research
Balsaminaceae : Impatiens capensis

Balsaminaceae : Impatiens capensis


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Family Name


Common Name

Spotted touch-me-not


Impatiens capensis an annual herb with simple (occasionally branching), round, hollow stems that are smooth, succulent, pale green to pale reddish green, and somewhat translucent, growing 50-150 cm tall. The alternate, petiolate leaves are ovate to elliptic-ovate, 3-10 cm long and 2-7 cm wide, thin-textured, with rounded teeth. The leaf’s upper surface is green and the lower pale and waxy. The inflorescence consists of small clusters of 1-3 orange flowers, held horizontally on drooping pedicels from the axils of leaves. Each orange to red flower is 2-3 cm long, irregularly conical with upper and lower lips and a 6-9 mm spur that is bent back and parallel to the body. The petals usually have crimson to variously colored spots. The fruit is a 5-celled capsule and the mottled green to brown seeds are 4-5 mm long. When touched, the capsules explode and forcefully eject the seeds. Spotted touch-me-not blooms from May through October in moist woodlands, along streambanks and in marshes in eastern and southwestern South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Jewelweed can be a good addition to native plant gardens in moist, partially shaded areas. They often form large, dense stands when growing under optimal conditions. Spotted touch-me-not suppress weeds and reseeds itself year after year. They attracts bumblebees, other native bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Horticulture Notes


Seed Collection: Collect seed in June-October.

Germination: No pretreatment needed.

Soils: Organically rich moist soils.

Light: Shade to partial sun.

Water: Prefers moisture, can withstand weeks of flooded soils without damage.

Balsaminaceae : Impatiens capensis