Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Will the REAL Impatiens please stand up?

Our native impatiens, Jewelweed or Touch-me-not is rarely utilized in formal gardens, although it is just as lovely as the colorful imported impatiens of lesser stature. These members of the Balsam family have distinctive irregular blossoms held aloft on 1-2 foot stems. Impatiens capensis is orange, Impatiens pallida pale yellow, both sport similar trumpet-shaped flowers which quickly becomes an attractant for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.

This plant is a "natural" for free ranging among the Hosta. Yes, we ex-landscape gardeners won't give up our Hosta any sooner than we would give up our children (however if you had asked while the kids were still in their teens- I might have considered...)

Impatiens capensis, Spotted Jewelweed frolics among the Sea Monster Hosta.
This Hosta is a stout fellow of 3.5 feet or so, and holds his own against any wildflower encroachment, however native Impatiens are easy to manage in the garden beds and can be readily thinned if they become too crowded. Try seeding some native impatiens to attract wildlife in your home flowerbeds, and enjoy the flutter-by-products of the natural-looking, healthy Ohio native plants.


  1. I didn't know Jewelweed was part of the Impatiens family. I love seeing these orange blossoms along the Little Miami Bike Trail and in the woods all over. Would be great to add to my shaded garden. Loved the post...

  2. On your recommendation, I planted a pale yellow jewel weed today. I also collected some seeds from both kinds. I got both on a friend's property. I hope they like my garden and prosper! They are so pretty.

  3. I would be impatient to see them grow!

  4. Well, I guess I'll have to collect more seeds because in the cleaning out of my car today before a trip, the seeds got tossed. I won't say who did it, but he didn't know that those crumpled napkins had precious seeds folded in them. Sigh.