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Small and Spotted Touch-Me-Not

Small and Spotted Touch-Me-Not

Small and Spotted Touch-Me-Not

(Impatiens parviflora/ Impatiens capensis)

Priority: -  Control

Tags: Terrestrial

Identification and Reproduction

Identification (Small-touch-me-not): 

  • Also known as small-flowered jewelweed, is an annual flowering plant.
  • It grows up to 60 cm in height, with a shallow root system.
  • Its leaves have toothed edges and are alternate in arrangement.

  • It has small pale yellow flowers, appearing like a pouch.

Identification (Spotted touch-me-not):

  • Spotted touch-me-not, also known as orange jewelweed, grows between 0.6 to 1.5 m tall. 
  • Stems are weak, pale green and reddish, growing from shallow roots. 
  • Its leaves have toothed edges and are alternate in arrangement.
  • Flowers grow in clusters of 1 to 3, they are cone shaped, composed of 3 sepals and 5 petals. Petals are dark orange with red or brown spots. 



Reproduces by seed. 

Touch-me-nots earn their name from ejecting their seeds from their seedpods when ripe. 

Habitat & Ecology

Small touch-me-not:

  • This plant is typically found in forestlands and forest edges. It invades forest edges, disturbed sites, edges of waterways, and prefers moist soil.
  • Because of its small and inconspicuous form it has gone unnoticed and is much more widespread than thought. 

Spotted touch-me-not:

  • This plant grows in shady and wet areas. 
  • It is the most aggressive in fertile soil. 
  • Often occuring on woodlands, floodplains, swamps, seeps, fens and roadside ditches. 



  • Touch-me-nots can quickly disperse across the forest floor. This can effect forest regeneration. 
  • It crowds out native species and ultimately reduces biodiversity. 
  • Spotted jewelweed is able to hybridize with native Impatiens species 


Mechanical/Manual Control: 

  • Since these plants have shallow root systems, they are fairly easy to hand pull. It is recommended to pull when soil is damp so roots will be removed as well. 
  • Avoid treatments during flowering stages. Any disruptions may cause seeds to disperse further around the site. 
  • Do not compost; dispose the plant properly at the landfill.


For more information check out the Washington State: Noxious Weed Control Board's page on Small-flowered Jewelweed here. Note this is a US resource and Canadian guidelines and regulations may differ. Be sure to read product labels carefully. 

For more details on spotted touch-me-not check out the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board factsheet on Spotted Jewelweed here

E-flora BC  provides a good guide on how to properly identify small touch-me-not

E-flora BC provides a good guide on how to properly identify spotted touch-me-not

Header photo (Syrio).