The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Jewelweed
Impatiens glandulifera is an annual plant that can grow up to 1.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Regular ingestion of large quantities of these plants can be dangerous due to their high mineral content[
]. This report, which seems nonsensical, might refer to calcium oxalate. This mineral is found in I. capensis and so is probably also in other members of the genus. It can be harmful raw but is destroyed by thoroughly cooking or drying the plant[
]. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet[
E. Asia - W. Himalayas - Pakistan to Uttar Pradesh. Naturalized in Britain.
Shrubberies and bushy places, often on grazing ground, frequently gregarious, 1800 - 4000 metres in the Himalayas[
]. Grows on river banks and waste places in Britain[
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist well-drained humus rich soil in a cool site[
Self sows in areas where the minimum temperature is no lower than -15°c[
This plant has seed capsules that spring open forcibly as the seed ripens to eject the seed a considerable distance. The capsules are sensitive to touch even before the seed is ripe, making seed collection difficult but fun[
Young leaves and shoots - cooked[
]. They should not be used on a regular basis, see warning at top of record[
Seed - raw[
]. A delicious nutty flavour[
], but difficult to harvest in quantity mainly because of their exploding seed capsules which scatter the ripe seed at the slightest touch[
An edible oil is obtained from the seed[
The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Impatience', 'Irritability' and 'Extreme mental tension'[
]. It is also one of the five ingredients in the 'Rescue remedy'[
An oil from the seed is used for lighting[
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. A period of cold stratification may help to improve germination rates. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
If you have sufficient seed, it is worthwhile trying an outdoor sowing in situ in the spring.