Pale Jewelweed

Pale Jewelweed
Pale Jewelweed

Wet with last night’s rain, pale jewelweed flowers open to the dawn, future flower buds lined up to open over successive days.

Suspended beneath its leaves like a pendant yellow pale jewelweed flowers glow in the shadows beneath trees. Related to impatiens, Impatiens pallida grows in tall, rangy plants with large oval leaves that resemble those of our garden-variety impatiens even if the flowers are nothing like them.

Pale jewelweed and another variety of jewelweed, orange “spotted jewelweed” or “spotted touch-me-not”, Impatiens capensis, are said to help ease the itch of and heal poison ivy rash. Apparently there’s no medical evidence for this but an older study, but a few friends I’ve advised of it over the years have told me it worked for them.

I am fortunate not to be bothered by poison ivy, which is good because I love the areas of the woods where jewelweed grows, often right next to poison ivy.

These emerged on their own in the natural area of my back yard, probably seeds borne by birds who ate the berries and deposited them in just the right conditions. They will bloom into autumn.

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  1. Lovely photo, Bernadette! My woodland edges are full of the orange jewelweed – I limit it but don’t eliminate it since the pollinators love it. You are welcome anytime to weed poison ivy in my garden 🙂 It is an ongoing battle here that requires extreme caution and protection on my part.

    1. I love the orange spotted one! I’m not sure why the pale one is here, but it’s delicate and lovely. This yard was so overgrown when I moved in that the trees all around were draped with grapevines, virginia creeper and poison ivy. I went in with shorts and a tank top and bare feed and clippers and a pruning saw, and in a few days it looked as if you’d poured boiling water over my arms. That’s the one and only time I had a poison ivy reaction. I am so glad because it’s a constant battle here too.

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