Ilex verticillata winterberry Aquifoliaceae  ILVE; Bx, br (planted), pb, rd, wv; Q, a; K, gt (planted); R, c, h, lp, sm, t;

Ilex verticillata fruit

Ilex verticillata fruit.M. B. Gargiullo (ca 2010).

Ilex verticillata is a shrub to 5 m tall, sexes separate, twigs and bark gray with pale speckles.

Leaves alternate, to 9 cm long 2 cm wide, deciduous, elliptic, margin toothed, surface dull, wrinkled; leaves expand mid-May; winter plant leafless 107 days (Britton 1874).

Flowers small, white, regular, 4-8 parted, sepals hair-fringed (ciliate), June.

Fruit fleshy, red, 0.7 cm wide, pulp yellow, 3-4 seeds; Oct.-Nov., persistent into winter, available to winter resident birds. Fruit eaten and seeds dispersed by many birds, also eaten by mammals including raccoons, coyotes, opossums and foxes (Martin et al 1951; Wilson 1993; Gargiullo personal observation). Seed load 14%. Pulp nutrients: water 77%, lipid 4%, protein 3%, CHO 43% (White 1989); contains saponins and phenolics, calcium oxalate crystals, higher in carbohydrates than I. opaca (Gargiullo and Stiles, 1991, 1993).

Wetland status: FACW+.

Frequency in New York City: Infrequent.

Origin: Native.

Habitat: Undisturbed swamp forests, marshes, stream margins and wet meadows, also planted in restoration projects. Fairly shade tolerant. Also found in freshwater tidal marshes, shrub swamps, swamp forest, flood plain forests, mostly in acid soil, pH 4.5-7.5 (USDA, NRCS 2010). Tolerant of flooding or saturated soil for up to 25% of growing season; soil compaction. Moderately tolerant of drought, shade. Intolerant of salt (Hightshoe 1988).

NotesIlex laevigata is found in similar habitats but sepals are 6-8 parted, not hair-fringed.

Impatiens pallida pale jewelweed Balsaminaceae IMPA; Bx, br, pb, vc;


Impatiens pallida..Pieter B.

Impatiens pallida..Pieter B. (Accessed 4/2014).

Impatiens pallida is an annual herb to 1.5 m, much like I. capensis but mostly larger and much less common, stem branched, nodes swollen, juicy, rather translucent, waxy-pale green, internodes hollow. 

Leaves alternate, to 10 cm long, soft, toothed, waxy-pale below. 

Flowers pale yellow, sparsely dotted with reddish brown, conical, bilaterally symmetrical (as in Icapenisis), to 4 cm long, sepal spur 0.4-0.6 cm long; blooms June-Sept. 

Fruit a capsule, twisting open explosively when touched, dispersing seeds locally; seeds also dispersed to distant sites by water. 

Wetland status: FACW. 

Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Open or part shade in wet soil, swamp forests, edges; soil pH 6.8-7.4 (USDA, NRCS 2006). 

Impatiens capensis  (I. biflora) jewelweed; touch-me-not Balsaminaceae IMCA; Bx, bg, br, bz, pb, rd, sf, up, vc; NY, ct, hb; Q, a, c, cr, cu, u; K, p; R, ah, ar, bd, bk, bm, c, ca, cp, cs, fk, gr, gb, h, is, js, lp, lt, mc, o, pm, r, rw, sb, sv, t, v, w, wp, wt; 


Impatiens capensis. Matthew Beziat, Native Flora odf the Eastern United States, Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary, MD, 9/2017

Impatiens capensis. Matthew Beziat, Native Flora odf the Eastern United States, Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary, MD, 9/2017

Impatiens capensis is an annual herb, 0.5-1. 5 m tall, nodes swollen, stems branched, juicy, rather translucent, waxy-pale green, internodes hollow; roots associated with VA mycorrhizas (Brundrett and Kendrick 1988). 

Leaves alternate, stalk to ca 5 cm long (Yatskievych 2006), blade 3-10 cm long, soft textured, waxy-pale below, margin toothed. 

Impatiens capensis (touch-me-not), flower, Balsaminaceae. MBGargiullo. NJ. 7/1/2017

Flowers of two kinds, those of large plants orange with darker spots, showy, conical, to 3 cm long, bilaterally symmetric, petals fused, appearing as 3, one above, two below, sepals 3, petal-like, two small laterals, the lower forming a spurred conical cup, spur 0.7-1.0 cm long, hooked forward; ovary superior, stamens 5 short, fused, pollen produced before stigma is receptive, ensuring outcrossing of open flowers (Schemske 1978); nectar taken by ruby-throated hummingbird, Archilochus colubris (Waser 1983), also visited by bumblebees, Bombus vagans and Bterricola (Lovell 1918); large and small plants also produce small, closed flowers that self-pollinate, ensuring seed production for plants in dry or shady habitats, (Waller 1980; Simpson et al.1985); inflorescence of 1-3 axillary flowers, drooping from stalks 2-3 cm long; blooms and fruits June-Sept.; closed flowers produced from about July to frost. 

Impatiens capensis.fruit.Steve Baskauf

Impatiens capensis.fruit.Steve Baskauf (Accessed 12/2014)

Fruit a narrow, fleshy capsule to 2 cm long, with 5 valves, twisting open explosively when touched, dispersing seeds locally, seeds also dispersed to distant sites by water. 

Wetland status: FACW. 

Frequency in NYC: Common 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Wet soil of swamp forests, shady or open marsh and stream edges. Often forming dense monocultures. Soil pH 6.4-7.4 (USDA, NRCS 2006); found in soil pH 5.6-7.0 (Gargiullo unpublished data). 

Impatiens capensis,exploded fruit.Steve Baskauf

Impatiens capensis,exploded fruit.Steve (all accessed 4/2014).

Notes: Yellow flower color is due to a carotenoid pigment (Lovell 1918, Harborne 1988). Seedlings, with rounded leaves, may carpet wet soil in early spring, enables an annual plant to exclude perennial seedling from taking over the site (Windsor 1983). Time for seed development from flower bud to seed dispersal to 48 days for open pollinated flowers, less for self pollinated, (Schemske 1978). Bumblebees cut holes in jewelweed spurs to rob nectar. Honey bees also take nectar from holes in spurs (Lovell 1918). Seeds eaten by birds and mice (Martin et al. 1951). A number of beetle, fly, Lepidopteran and other larvae feed on leaves and other parts in the Midwest (Schemske 1978).