Spotted Touch-me-not - Impatiens capensis (Touch-me-not family - Balsaminaceae )
Spotted Touch-me-not - Impatiens capensis
(Touch-me-not family - Balsaminaceae )
Two closely related species of touch-me-nots or "snapweeds"
are common. Both are about 2 - 5 ft. tall, grow in moist ground or in
water, are succulent annuals with watery juice, and have oval, coarsely
toothed leaves. Spotted touch-me-not has attractive orange flowers,
mottled with reddish-brown spots, which are suspended from threadlike
supports. Both plants have pods which, when mature, burst suddenly upon
When touched, even lightly, its mature
seedpods burst open and scatter their seeds; hence the common and generic
names (impatiens, a Latin words meaning "impatient").
The hollow, succulent stem contains a watery juice, which can be used
as an emergency prophylactic against the itch of poison ivy. Native
Americans also used the juice to treat athletes' foot and other fungal
skin ailments. Recent scientific analysis confirms that it has fungicidal