Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Impatiens pallida Nutt.
- Family: Jewelweed (Balsarninaceae)
- Flowering: May-October
- Field Marks: This jewelweed is distinguished by its pale yellow flowers and succulent stems.
- Habitat: Low woods, swamps, stream banks, wet meadows.
- Habit: Annual herb with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Upright, branched, semi-succulent, hollow, smooth, up to 6 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, elliptic to ovate, somewhat pointed at the tip, rounded at the base,
sometimes paler on the lower surface, smooth, coarsely toothed, up to 3 1/2 inches long, up
to 2 inches wide; leaf stalks up to 3 inches long.
- Flowers: 2-4 from the axils of the leaves, pale yellow, up to 1 1/2 inches long; each flower on
a slender, drooping stalk.
- Sepals: 3, the 2 lateral ones green and small, the middle one yellow, pouch-like, spurred.
- Petals: 5, yellow, of different sizes, sometimes with small red dots.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Capsules narrowly oblongoid, green, smooth, up to 1 1/4 inches long, containing dark
- Notes: This species is also known as the pale jewelweed. The mature capsules explode when
touched, expelling the seeds a considerable distance, hence the common name touch-me-not.
The watery sap can be used to relieve the discomfort of poison ivy.
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