Jewelweed typically grows two to five feet in height and has weak, watery stems that range in color from pale green to reddish green. The 2 to 3 inch leaves are greenish-blue, alternately-arranged, and oval-shaped with toothed margins. When in bloom, jewelweed displays five orange-yellow flower petals with red-orange spots. Jewelweed has three sepals with one modified into a cornucopia-shaped pouch.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

This flower is a self-pollinator—releasing seeds from its little green pods. Seedlings sprout in early spring and reach maximum size by August. Flowering begins in mid-summer and continues until the plant is killed by winter frost.

Did You Know?

  • The name jewelweed is sourced from sparkling droplets of rain or dew that bead on the smooth leaves like “jewels.”

  • This plant has a long history of use in Native American medicine. When applied topically, jewelweed sap is said to relieve itching and pain from a variety of ailments.

  • This plant is one of the few native North American plants that has been shown to compete successfully against garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)—a non-native invasive weed that threatens many eastern North American forests.

  • Jewelweed flowers fertilize themselves and produce seeds without ever exchanging pollen with another flower.

Sources and Additional Information