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Impatiens pallida

Impatiens pallida Nutt.

 

Yellow Jewelweed

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderGeranialesBalsams, mustards, geraniums, wood sorrels, nasturtiums, others
FamilyBalsaminaceaeBalsam family, mostly impatiens
GenusImpatiensLatin for “impatient,” a reference to the exploding fruits
SpeciespallidaPale

About plant names...

Yellow jewelweed is a North American native plant. Impatiens means “impatient,” a reference to the fact that dried seed capsules burst open when touched. Pallida means ”pale,” because these flowers are pale compared to those of the closely related species spotted jewelweed.

Identification: These plants are common in regions that are at least seasonally wet and partially shaded, such as creek beds or damp soils. Plants are 3-5' (1-1.5 m) high, with translucent and rather fragile stems. Leaves are bluish-green, oval-shaped, with shallow teeth, about 1½-3" (3.8-7.6 cm) × ½-1¼" (1.3-3.2 cm). Flowers occur in clusters of one to three, appearing from July to September. Viewed from the side, flowers are shaped a bit like a horn of plenty, yellow or pale yellow, with two large lower petals and one upper petal. There are usually a few red-brown spots within the throat of the flower, but none elsewhere. Each flower is about ¾" (1.9 cm) in size. The seed pods, about ¾-1¼" (1.9-3.2 cm) long, spread their seeds by drying into a spring-loaded form that pops upon contact. A close cousin, spotted jewelweed, has profuse red-orange spots or regions on its yellow flowers. Spotted jewelweed is often found growing in the same areas yellow jewelweed is found.

Medical: Yellow jewelweed is believed by many to have mild antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties, but see the article on spotted jewelweed, which is much more effective.

Online References:

Impatiens pallida on Missouriplants.com

Impatiens pallida on North Carolina Wildflowers, Shrubs, & Trees, by Jeff Pippen

Impatiens pallida on hort.net

Impatiens pallida at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Impatiens pallida at Illinois Wildflowers

Impatiens pallida on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Impatiens pallida at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Impatiens pallida on CalPhotos

Impatiens pallida at Maine.gov’s Department of Conservation Maine Natural Areas Program

Impatiens pallida (Yellow Jewelweed)

8/9/2010 · Keyes Farm, Nashoba Conservation Trust, Elm St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (28 × 18 cm)

Impatiens pallida description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Impatiens pallida (Yellow Jewelweed)

8/9/2010 · Keyes Farm, Nashoba Conservation Trust, Elm St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 3" (12 × 8.4 cm)

Impatiens pallida (Yellow Jewelweed)

8/9/2010 · Keyes Farm, Nashoba Conservation Trust, Elm St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 3" (12 × 8.4 cm)

Impatiens pallida (Yellow Jewelweed)

8/9/2010 · Keyes Farm, Nashoba Conservation Trust, Elm St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 4½ × 6" (11 × 15 cm)

Impatiens pallida (Yellow Jewelweed)

8/9/2010 · Keyes Farm, Nashoba Conservation Trust, Elm St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (16 × 10 cm)

Range:

About this map...