Family, Touch - me - not. Color, yellow, somewhat spotted with brown. Flower, irregular. Calyx, yellowish, colored like corolla, of 4 sepals. One of the sepals forms a broad sac ending in a curved spur, which is the prominent feature of the flower. Petals, 2, each 2-lobed. Stamens, 5. Pod, 5-valved. When ripe, the pod bursts, each valve curling upward and throwing the seeds to some distance. The plant bears also smaller and more fertile flowers, which are pollinated in the bud. The larger ones seldom bear fruit. Leaves, petioled, oval, toothed, the teeth sharp-pointed, pale green, almost silvery underneath. If placed in water the leaves show tints of silver and gold. Smooth, 2 to 5 feet high.
The way in which this plant scatters its seed illustrates one of nature's admirable contrivances for securing wide propagation of its species. It seems a less clumsy method than that employed by sticktights, which depend upon animals for their dispersal. In damp ground, preferring rich soil and some shade, in all the Eastern States. (See illustration, p. 184.) jewel-weed. balsam.
Touch-me-not. (Impatiens pallida)