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Jewelweed, also known as Spotted Touch-Me-Not, is an annual plant that grows to about 3 feet high. It is a favorite plant for home gardens and has several interesting characteristics. The attractive orange flower has a strange cornucopia shape and is visited by hummingbirds. When the seedpods mature, they burst open when touched, making seed collecting very interesting. The sap is claimed to clear up the effects of poison ivy and other irritations. People say that this remedy really works. The juice even has fungicidal properties. The upper surface of the leaf beads up dew and with the right angle of sunlight sparkles like "jewels". Impatiens pallida is another jewelweed species, which has yellow flowers. This type is less attractive to hummingbirds. Jewelweed grows best in wet, low places.
Jewelweed does not transplant well. Growing from seed is the best way to start the plants. Harvesting the seed from the pods is tricky because of the "touch me not" nature. If the seeds can be obtained or purchased, they should go through a cold cycle either naturally or by placing in the freezer for a month or more. Sow the seeds directly on the ground or plant in peat pellets and plant the pellets soon after. Buy seed from garden centers or catalogs.
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