Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Impatiens capensis
Spotted touch-me-not
Taxonomy

Synonyms: Impatiens biflora

Subspecific taxa:

Classification:

Other taxonomic & nomenclature sources: USDA PlantsITISThe Plant ListIPNI

Images

   
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Species Distribution
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County Map Legend
Absent:
Not known from county
Medium confidence:
Medium or unknown confidence;
often old records or unverifiable observations
Medium-high confidence:
Often observations by expert botanists
High confidence:
Often vouchered herbarium records
Planted / introduced:
Native species introduced outside historic range,
or only in planted locations within county (e.g., restorations)
Historic / extirpated:
Only historic records for the species; likely extirpated
(Note that this category is not yet functional)

North American distribution maps for this species: FLNAUSDA PlantsBONAPBISON

Collection & Observation Phenology [?]

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Collection & Observation Timeline [?]

Species Status

Status/Listing: No Information

Notes:

Origin: Native

Species Description

General: Dicot-herb, annual

Roots: primary

Shoots: alternate leaf arrangment; simple leaf type; serrate leaf margin; Pinnate leaf venation; lanceolate leaf shape

Inflorescence: raceme

Flowers: perfect; 5 merous; complete, irregular; orange; hypogynous ovary position

Fruit: capsule

Physiology: autotrophic; C3 C02 fixation

Ecology & Natural History

Habitat:

ILPIN Notes: Produces minute cleistogamous flowers. Flowers with reddish spots in few flowered racemes. Rust, R. W. 1977. Pollination in Impatiens capensis and Impatiens pallida (Balsaminaceae). Torrey Botanical Club Bulletin 104: 361-367. Leaves and stems when rubbed on skin may prevent or cure poison ivy.

Functional Relationships:

  • Pollinators insects (insect, bee)

Human Relationships:

  • Edibility [?] : yes-qualified
  • Showy Flowers: medium

Wildlife and Livestock Information:

  • Food Value:
  • Cover Value:

Coefficient of Conservatism (C-value) [?] :

  • Entire State: 2
  • Chicago Area: 3

Comments & Questions

Post: 09/2017
Is there a way to tell Impatiens capensis and I. pallida apart without flowers?

IL Plant Response:
This is a problem that has plagued botanists for many years. Countless vegetation samples list Impatiens sp. in their dataset due to this identification problem. Recently Justin Thomas from the Institute of Botanical Training, offered a character that may provide a solution. He suggests that LARGER leaves of I. capensis have 9 or fewer teeth per side, while LARGER leaves of I. pallida have more than 9 (most often around 14). When the two species grow together some have noticed I. pallida being more blue-green in contrast to capensis' green-green.

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