Late Summer Joy

It seems I have waited all spring and summer for the Jewelweed. I knew it bloomed but I had not noted when the flowers arrived last year. So fitting that the Latin name is Impatiens capensis, wrote impatient Molly Lin. Until we moved to Platform Street we had never had this lovely plant growing on our property.

Turns out this year the flowers were showing in late August. We had a flowerbed cultivated across the back of our yard. It was my sincere hope that the Jewelweed would not be erased by that plan. The good news is the Jewelweed stretches across our yard and the yards on either side of our property. It is said the name Jewelweed was given because it appears to sparkle when wet.

When I was a child l learned to recognize the tiny cornucopia-shaped flowers so I could find the seed pods when they formed. The magical pods, that when ripe, would explode at my touch and create tight coils from the edge of the pod that looked like ribbon curls at Christmas. Then I learned this was the ingenious way the plant spread its seeds.

Internet photo shows some seeds in burst pods

Rather like Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” the Jewelweed gifts me as I watch the hummingbirds and butterflies seek out each blossom for nectar. On the edge of my seat watching sparkling jewels when leaves are wet, cornucopia flowers, feeding station for hummers and butterflies, exploding seed pods, the plant that keeps on giving. I do not contract poison ivy, but have been told if you are exposed to it you should crush Jewelweed leaves and rub on the exposed area. It will diminish or eliminate the rash.

Jewelweed Trembles© Molly Lin Dutina 22-9-5

Jewelweed trembles
Just one stalk at a time
Not breeze
Hummingbird making
Morning patrols

Preparing supper 
I glance out kitchen window
Trembling Jewelweed
Nourishing hummers and butterflies
While I fix vittles
for dog and people

So learn to see this plant. If you get to walk in a park you might come across it. It also grows in ditches and likes wet places. Watch for those treasures in plain sight!!

Internet photo

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