Seed pods 'explode'.
The stem juice is said to relieve itching from poison ivy and has also been used to treat athlete's foot. Scientific data confirm the fungicidal qualities. (Niering)
Habitat Information: Jewel weed is a common plant in wet areas in full shade thickets, deciduous forests, and meadows, riparian habitats such as pond edges, full shade forest rocky seeps, streams and lakeshores to full sun conditions, in organic soil to areas which have very little soil, and seasonally wet to dry, such as rocky shores. (Evergreen)
The flowers attract ruby throated hummingbirds. Gamebirds such as ruffed grouse, ring necked pheasant, greater prairie chicken and bobwhite quail eat the seeds. White tailed deer browse, white footed mice also eat the seeds. (Illinois Wildflowers)
Garden Info: Seeds are dispersed in a very unique way, when touched they explode. (Johnson, L., The new Ontario Naturalized Garden, 1999)
This plant morphs in size according to the availability of moisture and the richness of habitat; in dryer conditions, it can be under 30 cm, and can be as large as 1.5 m in richer and more moist sites.
This plant is a great choice in a wet, and full sun or part shade pond garden, downspout garden, bioswale or stormwater pond, where water is captured and held to create periodic or constant wet conditions. (Evergreen)
Insect Relationships: Long tongued bees, including bumblebees and honeybees, swallowtail butterflies, bumblebees, various smaller insects (e.g., Syrphid flies), caterpillars of moths including Euchlaena obtusaria, Spilosoma latipennis (pink legged tiger moth), Trichodezia albovittata (white striped black), and Xanthorhoe lacustrata (toothed brown carpet). (Illinois Wildflowers)
Traditional Edible, Medicinal Uses: Jewel weed is a much used plant in treatment for poison ivy. It is found to be anti inflammatory externally, and used to treat other skin problems such as fungal dermatitis, nettle stings, rash, burns, warts, bruises, burns and cuts. It is not believed to be safe for eating. The juice is a fungicide. The plant contains calcium oxalate. The plant has been widely used in domestic herbalism. (Plants for a Future)
CanPlant assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents of the database. While most entries are accurate, errors may occur. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any errors in the information or for any adverse effects relating to the use of the plants or the information. If you notice a problem with the information, please let us know by sending an email so we can correct it.