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collage of Pale Touch-Me-Not and Jewelweed

Pale Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens pallida) vs. Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

Updated August 17th, 2023

These similar species are usually easily told apart by bloom color and examination of the spurs on each flower. With difficulty, they can be reliably distinguished by leaf characteristics. ID can sometimes be challenging as all of these traits are variable and some individuals may have one or more characteristics outside the typical range for its species. Although they can occur together in the same habitat, Impatiens pallida ranges into slightly drier conditions and tolerates soil with less organic matter, but requires more nitrogen and phosphorus. Impatiens capensis is usually more common, and also ranges farther in all directions; it is also more tolerant of acidic soils. Although they overlap greatly in height, Impatiens pallida is more likely to be taller (to 6 ft vs. 5.)

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