Monday, August 17, 2009

Impatiens capensis aka Spotted touch-me-not

The swamp flower I posted pictures of on Thursday has a name! It is quite an interesting specimen. It has the two names in the title and enough other ones to qualify it for a witness protection program. It goes by the names Jewelweed, Snapweed, Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me, Kicking-colt, Lady's Eardrop and Horns-of-plenty.

The plant of many names grows in creek banks, swamps and moist forests. When the seed pods are ripe, a slight touch will send the seeds flinging as far as five feet away. This is the first year I have noticed them so there must have been a lot of seed flinging going on last year. However, we did plant a fern down in the swamp so perhaps it came along with that plant as I saw a ton of them in the ditch were we got the fern.

It can be used to treat poison ivy, stinging nettles (which we call burn weed) and athlete's foot. It is an ideal addition to humming bird and butterfly gardens.

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