spotted touch-me-not

(Impatiens capensis)

Conservation Status
spotted touch-me-not
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACW - Facultative wetland


FACW - Facultative wetland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland


Spotted touch-me-not is a 2 to 6 tall, erect, annual forb that rises from a shallow, branching taproot. It often forms colonies.

The stems are erect, hairless, branched above the middle, light green to light reddish green, and translucent. They are succulent, hollow, and easily broken.

The leaves are alternate, egg-shaped or elliptic, and thin. They are 1 to 4 long and up to 2 wide, less than 3 times longer than wide. They are on leaf stalks up to 2 long, the stalk usually shorter than the blade. The upper surface is dull green and hairless. The lower surface is hairless. The margins have rounded, forward-pointing teeth. The teeth are tipped with a short, sharp, whitish, abrupt point. The leaves on flowering branches are no more than 3 long.

The inflorescence is a widely-spreading cluster of 1 to 3 flowers rising from the upper leaf axils. The flowers are held horizontally on ¾ to 1 long, drooping stalks.

The flowers are ¾ to 1 long. There are 3 petal-like sepals and 5 petals. The upper 2 sepals are light green to light yellow, small, and located behind the upper lip. The lower sepal is light orange and shiny. It is modified to form a cone-shaped tube ending in a narrow nectar spur. The cone-shaped portion of the sepal is longer than it is wide. The spur is ¼ to long, hairless, curved forward, and held close to the body of the flower.

The petals are orange with reddish-brown spots. One petal forms the upper lip. It is short and wide and curves upward. The four remaining petals are fused in pairs to form two lobed, lateral petals. The lobes of these petals spread outwards forming a pair of landing pads for pollinating insects. Near the upper lip are 5 stamens fused together forming a cap over the pistil. There is no floral scent.

The fruit is a slender, hairless, 5-valved capsule about ¾ long. When ripe it explodes if touched or jarred, releasing its seeds.




2 to 6


Flower Color




Similar Species


Pale touch-me-not (Impatiens pallida) is usually a larger plant. The leaves on flowering branches are usually more than 3 long. The flowers are larger, 1 to 1½ long. The tube formed by the lower sepal is shorter and bowl-shaped, as long as wide. The spur is shorter, to ¼ long, and is held at a right angle to the flower body, pointing downward. The petals are pale yellow. It is less common than spotted touch-me-not and is found in shadier locations.


Moist. Woods, forests, meadows, stream banks. Light shade to partial sun.




July to September


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Ericales (heathers, balsams, primroses, and allies)  


Balsaminaceae (balsam)  


Impatiens (touch-me-nots)  

Subordinate Taxa






Impatiens biflora

Impatiens fulva

Impatiens noli-tangere ssp. biflora

Impatiens nortonii


Common Names


common jewelweed



orange jewelweed

orange touch-me-not

spotted snapweed

spotted touch-me-not













The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.



An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.



Having thick leaves, stems, or roots that store water. Succulent tissues appear fleshy externally and juicy internally.

Visitor Photos

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Alfredo Colon

    spotted touch-me-not   spotted touch-me-not  
    spotted touch-me-not   spotted touch-me-not  
    spotted touch-me-not   spotted touch-me-not  
    spotted touch-me-not   spotted touch-me-not  



A favorite of bumblebees and hummingbirds. This has become my favorite flower of the summer.

    spotted touch-me-not   spotted touch-me-not  


    spotted touch-me-not      


    spotted touch-me-not      


    spotted touch-me-not      


    spotted touch-me-not   spotted touch-me-not  
    spotted touch-me-not      


    spotted touch-me-not      



  Orange Balsam
Wez Smith
  Orange Balsam  

Orange Balsam (Impatiens capensis).


Copyright DianesDigitals

  Spotted Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens capensis)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Spotted Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens capensis)  

also called Jewelweed

  Impatiens capensis (Spotted Jewelweed)
Allen Chartier
  Impatiens capensis (Spotted Jewelweed)  



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Jewelweed Impatiens capensis)
Karl Foord

Published on Sep 17, 2013


  Spotted Touch-Me-Not seed pod exploding
CitraBenzoet's channel

Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010

i had only discovered that Spotted Touch-Me-Nots were native to North America and a favorite flower for Hummingbirds. And also this summer i have come to understand how they got their name. With the slightest of pressure on a ready seed pod they exploding shooting seeds in all directions.

This plant is not a garden pest/weed! keep it around if you want hummingbirds to visit your yard every year!

  A01 Impatiens Capensis Séquence 2-Autres plantes.m4v
Jean Désorcy

Uploaded on Jan 11, 2010

L'impatiente du Cap du début de l'été à l'automne. La Impatiente del Cap del principio de la verano hasta el otoño. jewellweed from the begening of summer to fall. 从春季到秋季不耐烦角

  Natural Cure for Poison Ivy - Jewelweed/Impatiens capensis [Plant Identification]

Published on Sep 11, 2013

Krik of Black Owl Outdoors highlights a very useful plant found in the forest, Jewelweed or Impatiens capensis. Jewelweed can be used as a topical antidote to poison ivy and relieve the poison ivy's annoying symptoms.

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Visitor Sightings

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  Alfredo Colon

Location: Albany, NY

spotted touch-me-not  
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Albany, NY

spotted touch-me-not  
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Albany, NY

spotted touch-me-not  
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Maplewood Nature Center

spotted touch-me-not  

Location: Cass County

A favorite of bumblebees and hummingbirds. This has become my favorite flower of the summer.

spotted touch-me-not  

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Hemlock Ravine SNA

Holthe Prairie SNA

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

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Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit

Lake Louise State Park

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Woodbury WMA







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