One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Do you recognize this plant in full fall bloom?

Hint: It’s now four feet tall after its summer’s growth.

Give us a guess in the comments!

~~~

We had a correct guess today–this is Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis.

It is the wild relative of the garden annual plant Impatients that you humans buy for your shady yards. But guess what? The wild jewelweed seeds prolifically enough that it should come back every year–if your ground is moist and the light is set-shady.

The beautiful orange flowers are visited by many insects, and while nUtmeg and I were out, a pair of hummingbirds!

As our commenter mentioned, jewelweed has many uses. The Native Americans knew that crushing the leaves and stems and applying the juice would relive the itch of poison ivy and nettles, which happens to be found in moist areas as well, so should be handy. The sap also can be used as an anti-fungal.

Please note that we are squirrels and this folklore is not intended to be medical advice!

Check out more about Jewelweed on the US Forest Service page.

 

5 thoughts on “One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

  1. Do you know why it’s called jewel weed? Take a nice big leaf and get it wet, then turn it over, shiny side down, still in the water. When the sun is shining on it, the leaf looks like there are a thousand tiny jewels on the rough surface of the leaf. It’s magical!

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