I have a lovely stand of native jewel weed growing next to the
wild raspberries along the woodland edge of my yard this year.Â It is just stunning.Â
Â This native herb plant has a succulent, hollow stem, with leaves in a pale green color.Â
It has waxy blossomsÂ that are beautiful shades of deep orange and bright
yellow.Â Jewel weed grows up to five feet
tall and likes a cool shady environment, you can often find it along the river
banks. Â There is a clear, watery liquid inside the stems and along the
nodes.Â This sappy liquid is often
applied to the skin as a relief for various irritations like poison ivy and insect
Â The delicate, long oval, leaves are water-repellent, so they
look like they're covered with tiny jewels in the morning dew and after it
rains that sparkle in the sun - thus the name jewel weed.
The flowers, which bloom early summer through fall, are about an inch long with three petals - one forms a slipper. Â They are trumpet shaped and are bright orange-yellow. Â The flowers are spotted with red or yellow, the bright
colors attract pollinators. Hummingbirds love jewel weed, too. Â The flowers
grow in pairs, the botanical name is impatiens bi-flora.Â In the autumn, the plant develops seed pods
that split in neat little coils that expose the seeds when squeezed.Â I remember playing with these seed pods when
I was little, the seeds sort of jump out of the pod when the bright green pod
Of course, I am harvesting this awesome plant for some
jewel weed salve.Â After drying, I process
the leaves and stems with a mortar and pestle then pack it in a clean glass
Â The herb is covered with golden
jojoba oil and allowed to steep for several weeks.Â After the full infusion, the oil will be
strained and combined with some beeswax and shea and cocoa butter to a soft ointment
consistency, poured into tins ready for use. The infused oil can also be utilized in my handmade cold process soap.
If you stumble upon some jewel weed in your woodland travels, take some time to appreciate this gem of an herb.
Thanks for visiting!