Impatiens. Impatiens biflora Walt. and I. pallida Nutt. Touch-me-not. Jewel-weed. Balsam-weed.—These two species of Impatiens (Fam. Balsaminaceae), the former of which is better known commonly as Spotted Touch-me-not and the latter as Pale Touch-me-not, are indigenous, annual, succulent plants growing in low, moist grounds, and flowering from July to September. They may be known by their tender, juicy, almost transparent stems; by their yellow flowers, which in I. pallida are pale and sparingly punctate, and in I. biflora are deeper colored and crowded with dark spots, and by their capsules, which burst elastically, and curl up with the slightest pressure. They probably possess properties similar to those of I. nolitangere L., of Europe and Asia, which has an acrid burning taste, and, when taken internally, acts as an emetic, cathartic, and diuretic, though considered dangerous, and therefore little used. Ruan of Philadelphia, employed with great advantage, in piles, an ointment made by boiling the American plants, in their recent state, in lard. The flowers may be used for dyeing yellow. The fresh juice is reputed to be efficacious in the treatment of rhus poisoning. The I. Balsamina L., or balsam-weed, touch-me-not, etc., of the gardens resembles the other species in its effects.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.