Pale Touch Me Not

Ojibway: Omakakiibag
Latin: Impatiens pallida Nutt.

Pale-Touch-me-not

Common Names

  • Jewelweed
  • Snapweed
Description

A tall leafy plant with succulent, translucent stems bearing nodding, usually pale yellow flowers occasionally splotched with reddish brown.

Flowers

4 cm (1 1/2 in.) long; calyx tube ending in a short hooked spur; June to October.

Leaves

2.5-10 cm (1-4 in.) long, alternate, thin, ovate, toothed.

Fruit

Fragile, swollen, elliptical capsule, exploding at maturity, expelling seeds.

Height

90-180 cm (3-6 ft.) tall.

Habitat

Wet woods and meadows, often on mountainsides in wet, shady, limestone or neutral sites.

Range

Ontario east to Nova Scotia, south to Georgia, west to Oklahoma, and north to North Dakota.

Discussion

The leaves and seeds can be cooked and eaten in oriental dishes, but some caution is advised. The whole plant is diuretic, emetic and purgative. Externally, the soothing sap is a proven remedy for nettle stings and poison ivy rash. It can also be used for the treatment of warts, corns, ringworm and haemorrhoids.

Warning

Regular ingestion of large quantities of these plants can be dangerous due to ?the . This is due to thigh content of calcuim oxalate. ?It can be harmful raw but is destroyed by thoroughly cooking or drying the plant. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take special caution if including this plant in their diet.