Is this poisonous???

Asked May 11, 2019, 5:06 PM EDT

We’ve lived in our house for 5 years, and this year a new plant/weed has popped up heavily on our wood line and along the creek. It’s actually paler green than it looks in the pics, and the stems of the plants are more reddish than they appear. The tallest of the individual plants are no more than 4-5 inches tall. Is this something poisonous? I am very allergic to poison ivy, etc and am worried because it’s spread so much...even into the grass. Thanks soooo much for your help!!

Carroll County Maryland

1 Response

That looks like our good native plant Impatiens capensis, also called Jewelweed.
It has great value for wildlife such as songbirds, butterflies, hummingbirds and small mammals. You will particularly like it though because it is also considered a remedy for the itching caused by poison ivy.
It should start flowering sometime soon in orange, yellow or white.
It's interesting because I am seeing it in my yard in western Howard county for the first time this year (after 25 years!). I would guess that part of it is due to the historic rains and saturated soils of the last year. It's habitat is moist meadows, swamps, streambanks and open woods.


Christine