General Species Description
- Impatiens capensis is a bush size annual herb found during the summer
months in facultative wetland areas. The vibrant orange color of the flowers and the large
quantity of flowers per bush gives the plant a striking appearance. The
stems of the bush are erect and freely branching and the large simple
leaves are alternate and bright green in color. The bush deteriorates quickly after
the first frost.
- The leaves are ovate in shape with highly toothed margins. The tip
of the leaf comes to a point.
- Impatiens capenis has eye catching bright orange flowers that are
composed of three sepals fused to form a tube that extends into a
downward curving spur shape. The spur is an outgrowth of the calyx.
Brown spots cover both the tube and the upper lip of the interior flower. Some spots may be seen on the exterior of the
flower as well.
- The fruits are shaped like pea pods and explode to eject the seeds when
they are ripe.
- Occurs along stream and lake boundaries and in moist woods.
- Impatiens capensis is mostly found south of the Columbia River.
- Similar species are the yellow touch-me-not (Impatiens noli-tangere)
and policemen's helmet (Impatiens glanduliferia) which has redish purple flowers.
- May be used as an ornimental.
- 1) Cooke, S.S.,ed. 1997. A Field Guide to the Common Wetland Plants of Western Washington and Northwest Oregon.
Seattle Audubon Society and Washington Native Plant Society. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle WA,pp129.
2) Hitchcock and Cronquist.1973 Flora of the Pacific Northwest University of Washington Press pp289
3)Haywood V.H PHD. 1993. Flowering Plants of the World Oxford University Press New York pp211
This page was created by: Susan Muller, August 2000
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