University of Missouri Extension

MP903, New May 2008

Quail-Friendly Plants of the Midwest

Jewelweed

Forb

Summer coverBrood coverFood

JewelweedJewelweed grows in moist, shady areas. Leaves have scalloped edges.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation
 

Jewelweed's distinctive, yellow-orange flower resembles a cornucopia

The common name "touch-me-not" comes from the tendency of ripe seedpods to pop open and shatter at the slightest touch. Quail readily consume these seeds when available. Jewelweed's distinctive, yellow-orange flower resembles a cornucopia.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation

A ripe seedpod.

A ripe seedpod.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation

An exploded seedpod.

An exploded seedpod.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation

Description

Jewelweeds are annual plants commonly found in moist, shaded areas such as stream corridors. They commonly reach 18-24 inches. Leaves have scalloped edges and fleshy stems that exude a clear, watery gel-like liquid when crushed. Flowers are orange (I. capensis) or pale yellow (I. pallida). The name "touch-me-not" comes from the tendency of the ripe seedpods to snap open and throw seeds at a slight touch. Between the two species, jewelweeds can be found throughout most of the Midwest.

Bloom period

May to October

Use by bobwhites

Jewelweed seeds were often found in the diets of bobwhites studied in southern Illinois during the 1950s, and in Missouri quail crops collected in the 1940s. Plants may serve as good brood habitat as well, and their structure and association with moist, cool soils offers bobwhites refuge from summer heat.
 

MP903, new May 2008

MP903 Quail-Friendly Plants of the Midwest | University of Missouri Extension

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