Missouri Wildflower Guide


By June our brook’s run out of song and speed.
Sought for much after that, it will be found
Either to have gone groping underground
(And taken with it all the Hyla breed
That shouted in the mist a month ago,
Like ghost of sleigh-bells in a ghost of snow)—
Or flourished and come up in jewel-weed,
Weak foliage that is blown upon and bent
Even against the way its waters went.

 

From "Hyla Brook" by Robert Frost

 

Jewelweed

One of my favorite wildflowers, Jewelweed is aptly named, for the way water droplets bead up and shimmer on its silvery bluish-green foliage.  It is also known as Touch-Me-Not, for its exploding seed pods.  When the seeds have matured, the slightest touch or even a tiny breeze will cause the five sections of the seed capsule to recoil abruptly into curlicues, throwing the seeds.

 

Jewelweed is attractive to hummingbirds.  One sunny afternoon while collecting seeds, I was bent over to look for seed pods hanging under the leaves, when I heard the characteristic hum.  Glancing up without moving, I had the pleasure of watching a hummingbird visit several flowers, within two feet of my face.

 

Juice from this plant is reported to soothe the itch of Poison Ivy.

  • Bloom Time

    May-Oct

     

  • Habit

    Herbaceous

     

  • Height

    To 5 feet

     

  • Longevity

    Annual

 

Jewelweed leaf