I used to think this was kind of a weedy plant, but now I kind of love it. When I’ve encountered it it’s usually in or right next to water – whether a stream or pond. But the best thing is that this plant has a great use: you can crush its leaves and put the balm on your skin to help sooth poison ivy and wood nettle rash. So, not really a weed when you’re in need, eh? I think I just made that up.
There’s also a species of this with yellow flowers called, you guessed it: Yellow Jewelweed. Turns out, unlike most woodland plants, this one is an annual and grows new from seeds each year (many woodland plants are perennial). This is a very cold sensitive plant that dies back in the fall when temps get around 50 degrees F. Hummingbirds and bees like the nectar-rich flowers.
Alternate Names: Orange Touch-Me-Not Size: 2'-5' tall. Family: Balsaminaceae (Touch-me-not Family) Habitat: Streamsides, moist forests, bogs and floodplain forests. Identification: "Fleshy annual with smooth, hollow stems and alternate ovate to elliptic leaves 1-4 in. long. Orange-yellow, trumpet shaped flowers about 1 in. long, on thread-like stalks. Fruit is a translucent green capsule. Flowers May-October, Fruits June-October." From Wildflowers & Plant Communities. Uses: Crushed leaves applied to skin sooth the irritation from poison ivy and wood nettle.