Spotted jewelweed is common and robust (up to five feet tall), and is often found along sun-dappled stream banks, along ditches, and in wetter areas.
Despite its size, however, people often overlook it unless it is blooming. Its bright orange and unusually shaped flower quickly attracts attention. A similar species, pale jewelweed, has yellow flowers and is also native to Minnesota.
Spotted jewelweed is a favorite nectaring plant for ruby-throated hummingbirds and it's not unusual to see several hummingbirds feeding in a patch of blooming jewelweed. Insects also nectar at jewelweed, especially spotted jewelweed. This plant is also known as the "touch-me-not" as a light touch may cause the ripe seedhead to explode expelling the seeds up to several feet away. Seeds that fall into the stream may float quite some distance before lodging in suitable habitat.
Blooms: May through September
- The sap of the spotted jewelweed is sometimes used to relieve the itch of poison ivy, although there is disagreement as to its effectiveness.
Want to Help Us Better Understand the Park?
See our iNaturalist project, "The Life of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area" and contribute to it by downloading the iNaturalist app and uploading your sightings of this species, and others, to the project. You can also upload your sightings from your computer.