J is for Jewelweed on Thirsty Thursday

a-to-z-letters-j

Well folks, I managed to do it again this week–integrate the Blogging A To Z Challenge letter into my regular column about water. Along one of the backyard ponds in our neighborhood the owners have a good growth of native Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis. 

Jewelweed by Pond

Jewelweed

They’re only little sprouts now, but growing quick in this damp soil, like they would along a woodland stream here in Virginia. In another month those plants will be 3 to 5 feet tall and sporting flowers.

Jewelweed

The hummingbirds like those Jewelweed flowers, but I think you humans appreciate the plant more for what it does if you happened to run into yesterday’s plant. Yep, that’s right, squashing the juicy stems of jewelweed onto where poison ivy touched your skin does a bit of good in washing away the oils that cause that skin rash you humans seem prone to.

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8 thoughts on “J is for Jewelweed on Thirsty Thursday

  1. Good to post this right after poison ivy, in case anybody didn’t know. If you take a jewel weed leaf and turn it over in water in sunlight, you’ll see why it’s called jewel weed. The under side of the leaf, when wet and it sunshine, looks like it has tiny diamonds on it. Doesn’t work when it’s dry, tho. Like diamonds floating down the creek, sometimes……. fascinating plant.

    • Oh, not even Miz Flora had heard of this! When those leaves get a little bigger, we’ll have to dip one in the pond water.
      Thanks for sharing this!
      Ol’ Wally

      • You’re very welcome; glad to be able to share something interesting! It’s pretty fascinating what it looks like under the water and in the sun.

    • Um, actually, this old squirrel, Ol’ Wally, is in charge of Thirsty Thursday. Hickory will be around again on Sunday. But you’re welcome all the same for your kind note, Nancy.
      Ol’ Wally

  2. Hey also, the leaves also contain the chemical that helps against poison ivy, and are easier to get juice out of. Just grab a whole plant and start rubbing it between your hands to crush leaves, then rub it on the affected area. It really is a fascinating plant! Mother Nature is wonderful in what she provides for us.

  3. Nice to learn something new. It seems that jewelweed is pretty common around here but no one appears to know what it can be used for. We simply consider them as, well, weeds. But now that I found out jewelweed can be useful, I will make sure I share the info. 🙂

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