Page author: David Giblin
Impatiens capensis
spotted jewelweed

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; widely distributed throughout much of North America.

Habitat: Moist woods, lake, pond, and stream edges, and other wetland areas at low elevations.

Flowers: July-October

Origin: Introduced; not native west of the Rocky Mountains

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous, succulent annual, the stems freely branched, 2-6 dm. tall.


Leaves alternate, occasionally opposite towards the base of plant, the petioles 2-4 cm. long, the blades elliptic-ovate, 3-12 cm. long, the rounded, serrate teeth tipped with a sharp point.


Flowers in twos, 20-25 mm. long, yellow, spotted or mottled with orange, sometimes so heavily mottled that the flower appears orange; at the orifice, narrowed gradually to the strongly recurved, 6-10 mm. spur; lateral sepals smaller; petals 5, the upper one notched at the tip, the lateral ones much smaller, in unequal pairs.


Capsule 5-celled

Accepted Name:
Impatiens capensis Meerb.
Publication: Afbeeldingen van zeldzaame Gewassen. Plate 10. 1775.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Impatiens capensis Meerb. f. albiflora (E.L.Rand & Redfield) Fernald & B.G.Schub.
Impatiens capensis Meerb. f. citrina (Weath.) Fernald & B.G.Schub.
Impatiens capensis Meerb. f. immaculata (Weath.) Fernald & B.G.Schub.
Impatiens capensis Meerb. f. peasei (A.H.Moore ex Weath.) Fernald & B.G.Schub.
Impatiens capensis Meerb. f. platymeris (Weath.) Fernald & B.G.Schub.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Impatiens capensis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Impatiens capensis checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Impatiens capensis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Impatiens capensis photos.

USDA Plants: Impatiens capensis information.

38 photographs:
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