This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Characters of the family, as given above. [Name in allusion to the elastically bursting pods.]
Besides the following species, 3 others occur in Western North America and two in Central America. Type species: Impatiens Noli-tangere L., an Old World plant with light yellow flowers, recorded as found in Ontario.
Flowers orange-yellow, mottled; spur incurved.
Flowers pale yellow; spur short, spreading.
Impatiens biflora Walt. Fl. Car. 219. 1788.
Impatiens fulva Nutt. Gen. 1: 146. 1818.
Annual, glabrous, 2°-5° high, branched, purplish. Leaves thin, ovate or elliptic, pale and glaucous beneath, 1 1/2'-3 1/2' long, generally obtuse, coarsely toothed, the teeth commonly mucronate; petioles slender, 4-4' long; peduncles axillary, 1/2'-1 1/2' long, 2-4-flowered; pedicels pendent, slender, bracted above the middle; bracts linear; flowers horizontal, orange-yellow, mottled with reddish-brown (rarely nearly white and not mottled), 9"-12" long; saccate sepal conic, longer than broad, contracted into a slender incurved spur of one-half its length, which is 2-toothed at the apex.
In moist grounds, Newfoundland to Saskatchewan, Florida and Nebraska. Spurs are occasionally developed on the 2 small exterior sepals, and spurless flowers have been observed. This and the next called balsam, jewel-weed. Speckled jewels. Silver-, slipper- or snap-weed. Ear-jewel. Ladies'-slipper, pocket- or ear-drop. Wild or brook-celandine. Solentine. Snap-dragon. Shining-grass. Cowslip. Weather-cock. Kicking-colt or -horses. Wild balsam. July-Oct.
Impatiens pallida Nutt. Gen. 1: 146. 1818.
Similar to the preceding species, but larger and stouter. Flowers pale yellow, sparingly dotted with reddish-brown, or sometimes dot-less, I2"-I5" long; saccate sepal dilated-conic, about as broad as long, abruptly contracted into a short scarcely incurved notched spur, less than one-third its length; bracts of the pedicels lanceolate to ovate, acute.
In similar situations, most abundant northward. Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan, Georgia and Kansas, July-Sept. Snapweed. Balsam. Wild balsam or celandine. Silverweed. Slippers. Quick-in-the-hand. Jewelweed.