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Peter F. Zika

Annual, [perennial herb, subshrub, few epiphytes], glabrous [(hairy)]; roots fibrous [rhizomatous to tuberous]. Stem: watery to fleshy. Leaf: generally alternate, simple, petioled, toothed or entire, veins pinnate, ± arched. Inflorescence: cyme, umbel-like, terminal or axillary, 1–8-flowered. Flower: bisexual, bilateral, twisting 180°; sepals 3[5], free, upper becoming lower, generally with nectar spur [or spur 0]; petals 3 [5, free or] ± fused in 2s; stamens 5, filaments stout, forming column around pistil, ± united at tip, shed at base, anthers united into cap over stigma; ovary 1, superior, generally 5-chambered, stigmas 1–5. Fruit: capsule, explosive [or berry-like drupe].
2 genera, ± 850 species: tropics, warm temperate; some ornamental. [Janssens et al. 2006 Syst Bot 31:171–180] —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Yuan, Y.M., Y. Song, K. Geuten, E. Rahelivololona, S. Wohlhauser, E. Fischer, E. Smets, & P. Küpfer 2004 Taxon 53:391–403; Geuten, K., Becker, A., Kaufmann, K., Caris, P., Janssens, S., Viaene, T., Theissen, G., & Smets, E. 2006. Petaloidy and petal identity MADS-box genes in the balsaminoid genera Impatiens and Marcgravia. Plant J. 47:501–518; Janssens, S., Geuten, K., Yuan, Y. M., Song, Y., Küpfer, P., & Smets, E. 2006. Phylogenetics of Impatiens and Hydrocera (Balsaminaceae) using chloroplast atpB-rbcL spacer sequences. Syst. Bot. 31:171–180.]

Stem: lower generally with adventitious roots. Leaf: alternate, opposite, or whorled; stipules 0 or gland-like. Flower: variously spotted or lined; sepals 3, lateral 2 greatly reduced, ± green, lower with nectar spur, not green; petals apparently 3, lateral 2 forming a lip, upper 1 a banner over mouth of tube. Fruit: green. Seed: 1–7, green to black, ridged or papillate.
± 850 species: tropics, warm temperate, Eurasia, Africa, boreal America. (Latin: impatient, from explosive fruit) [Zika 2006 Novon 16:443–448]
Unabridged references: [Zika 2006 J Torrey Bot Soc 133:593–600; Zika, P. F. 2006. Impatiens ×pacifica (Balsaminaceae), a new hybrid jewelweed from the Pacific Northwest coast of North America. Novon 16: 443–448; Zika, P. F. 2006. The status of Impatiens capensis (Balsaminaceae) on the Pacific Northwest coast. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 133: 593–600.]

Key to Impatiens

I. capensis Meerb. SPOTTED JEWELWEED
Plant 3–23 dm. Leaf: alternate; stipules 0; blade 3–11 cm, lanceolate, ovate, or elliptic, acute, entire to coarse-crenate. Inflorescence: 2–11-flowered, axillary. Flower: yellow-orange (pink, cream), with dark red marks or not; spur ± recurved, < 10 mm, taper to spur abrupt, lateral sepals 4–7 mm; cleistogamous flowers 2–3 mm, green, on peduncles < 1 cm borne early or late season. Fruit: oblong.
2n=20. Disturbed, moist, often shaded sites, streambanks; < 500 m. San Francisco Bay Area; northwestern Oregon to southwestern British Columbia, where invasive; native to eastern North America. [Impatiens noli-tangere L., misappl.] Probably introduced in California as ornamental; hybrids with Impatiens ecalcarata Blank. named Impatiens ×pacifica Zika. [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Impatiens, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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click for enlargement Impatiens capensis
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Jo-Ann Ordano © 2005 California Academy of Sciences

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Impatiens capensis Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.