Wildflowers of Toronto's High Park​​

Jewelweed or Touch-me-not  and Hymalayan Balsam

Genus: ​Impatiens
Family: Touch-me-not or Jewelweed
Annual

There are three theories as to the derivation of the common name "jewelweed."  It may pertain to the colourful dangling flowers, to the bright turquois gem-like appearance of the inner part of the mature seed,
or to the way tiny drops of water sparkle along the edges of the leaves.

The common name "touch-me-not" pertains to the way the mature seed pods explode and eject seeds when touched. 

Sap from the stem and leaves of jewelweed is a remedy for the itching and rash of poison ivy.

Jewelweed produces plentiful necture and is pollinated primarily by hummingbirds.  Bees are also attracted but find it difficult to reach the nectar, so may chew the back of the flower to obtain it.

Like violets, jewelweeds produce cleistogamous flowers which do not open but produce seed.


Spotted Jewelweed or Touch-me-not
I. capensis

​Native to Ontario

Habitat: Shaded wetlands and woods
Blooms: June to September
Height: up to 1.5 m

​Flower: 2.5 cm
Pale jewelweed or touch-me-not
​I. pallida

Habitat: Wet woods and meadows
Blooms: June to October

Height: up to 1.8 m

​Flower:  4 cm 

Hymalayan balsam
I. glandulifera

Introduced and invasive.
Aggressively replaces native perennial plants and attracts pollinators away from native species.

Habitat: Damp places
Blooms: Summer

​Height: Up to 3 m

​Flower:  Up to 4 cm, pink, purple or white.