Impatiens capensis, I. noli-tangere

28 Aug

Aside from the typical annual Impatiens, my first ‘wild’ impatiens was one I picked up at Mercer Slough. I loved the tall annual with the dusky pink flowers that hummers would visit a bit till the bumbles got into them, and I adored how the bumbles would crawl all he way inside the odd flowers, then buzz their way backwards to get out, lol. Unfortunately, it was t long after I had them well established that I found out that particular species, I. glamdulifera, is an official no joins weed. It certainly seeds itself well enough to be one, for sure.

A few years after that, a good friend of mine gave me seedlings of one she got at the MSK Rare Plant nursery in Shoreline. Although this species, Impatiens noli-tangere is native to the northwestern counties of Washington up into British Columbia and east, the seed for this strain originated in the Northeast US. It’s bright yellow hooded flowers are smaller than the above policeman’s helmet, but similar, and with a nice long spur. Till this year, I had never seen. Hummer visit, only the abundant bees, bit a week or so ago I watched a female Anna’s visit nearly every flower open on a handful that survived the summer drought in the back.

Now it may be that my most recent acquisition, Impatiens capensis, has given he birds a heads up? Hard to say, but the orange speckled flowers of this species are otherwise very similar in shape to the noli-tangere I already had. I got six small seedlings from Patrick on the hummingbird forum, and though they were planted rather late, and there hasn’t been a lot of top growth, there are quite a few flowers on several of them.

I’m still hoping to find one of the native species, Impatiens ecalcarata in particular, but they seem to be rather overrun with I. capensis these days. It probably should be a noxious weed, really, but at least it is really popular with the bees and hummingbirds. I imagine something eats those big succulent seeds, too.



2 Responses to “Impatiens capensis, I. noli-tangere”


  1. Impatiens capensis | Find Me A Cure - September 12, 2013

    […] Impatiens capensis, I. noli-tangere […]

  2. Jewelweeds A.K.A Touch-Me-Nots | emilykarn - December 18, 2013

    […] Impatiens capensis, I. noli-tangere ( […]

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