what is it?, originally uploaded by kellypuffs.

I learned about jewelweed today.

Have I mentioned how much I love you people??!? It is just SO cool that I can let a question fly out into The Great Interwebs and like magic, one of you knows the answer!

I love the Flickr group ID Please?. It is one of my favorite references. Today I posted this picture of a flower to the pool. A teeny tiny orchid-y looking thing. I found it in my backyard along the banks of the vernal (now dry) streambed and under my evergreen trees.

Swear to God, less than 5 minutes after I posted the picture, someone ID’d it.

“This is Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)”, Tiggrx replied.

Honestly, how cool is that?

So I immediately went to wikipedia to look up jewelweed, and learned all sorts of neat stuff about it.

Firstly, I love the name. A Kellypuffs-ordered universe would, of course, have a weed with the name “jewelweed”.

I learned that it often lives near poison ivy (which we also have acres of), and has traditionally been used as a folk remedy for said poison ivy, although the article was quick to point out that scientific studies have shown NO anti-itch properties whatsoever.

There are two kinds of jewelweed, one that is all yellow (yellow jewelweed) and the ones with orange spots, called – wait for it – Spotted Jewelweed.

Another common name for jewelweed is Touch Me Not (noli tangere). Which also tickles my fancy because of the Anne Boleyn connection.

Thomas Wyatt once wrote a poem “Whoso list to hunt”, widely thought to be a love poem to Anne Boleyn. Anne, alas, had her eyes set higher, and was aiming for the King of England.

“Whoso List To Hunt”

Sir Thomas Wyatt

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, hélas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Sithens in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about:
Noli me tangere, for Caesar’s I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.


And you thought I was just another pretty face.


One thought on “jewelweed

  1. I have a plant that I have been trying to identify for a couple of years. Thanks for the ID please flicker group. Finally some answers.

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