Orange Touch-me-not

Orange Touch-me-not
Orange Touch-me-not. Impatiens capensis.
Balsaminaceae, the touch-me-not family.

Plant: Tall, branching, leafy plant, to 4' with succulent, translucent stems and spotted yellow-orange flowers. Annual.
Flowers: Yellow-orange to orange, bilateral, to 1", spotted more or less heavily with darker orange to brown markings. Flower has a long nectar-bearing tail or spur, and from the front, appears complexly three-lobed.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate, with toothed margin, 1"-3" long.
Fruit: A swollen capsule about 1" long that explodes when mature, throwing the seeds several feet.
Blooming: June-September.
Habitat: Wetland areas, usually in part shade, but sometimes in the open.

Comments: Also called spotted touch-me not. The name derives from the seed capsules that, when mature, explode when touched. As the scientific name suggests, the plant is in the same genus as the garden impatiens (whose seed capsules will also sometimes explode), though superficially, the flowers do not appear very similar. The crushed stems of this plant, and the related yellow touch-me-not will supposedly relieve poison ivy. The plant has also been used as a topical remedy for athlete's foot. However it is emetic should not be eaten. The long-spurred flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds as well as bees, butterflies, and moths.

Where to find it: One large patch on the shore of the pond very near the lodge.