Saturday, September 26, 2020

Jewelweed Setting Seed

Impatiens capensis, Jewelweed or Spotted Touch-me-not has exploding seed pods that cast the next generation far and wide. Though an annual, they can aggressively take over damp sites usually along forest edges. It can be weeded out or thinned easily, however; seeds will sometimes take up to three years to germinate, leading to small patches of plants returning. While flowering though it is treasured by bees and hummingbirds. 
The nectar is kept all the way in the back of the flower, right in the back of the tube there so that only long tongued bees and hummingbirds have access to it. This one however has been chewed open by a carpenter bee. 
Jewelweed is a prolific flowering plant though and seems to bloom well after the life cycle of most carpenter bees, thus pollination still occurs.   

Seedpods, when ready, explode on a hair pin trigger. Just the slightest disturbance to the tip and they pop open, flinging seeds several feet away. 
They produce air roots too which pull nutrients from the air. 
 One plant in the patch I have suffered something that caused it to become variegated above a certain point.