Monday, September 20, 2010

A rare find

A couple of weeks ago while hiking at Letchworth State Park, I came across a rare find. Nestled between stands of spotted jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) and pale jewelweed (Impatiens pallida) I came across a jewelweed plant the likes of which I had not seen before. 

This plant looked like spotted jewelweed in the shape of the flowers and the leaves but it had white flowers with red spots. I've never in all my stomping about in wild places or perusing through various field guides trying to ID wild plants seen one like this. 

After some investigation, I believe it is one of two very uncommon variants of the spotted jewelweed: Impatiens capensis forma albiflora (white flowers with red spots) or Impatiens capensis forma Pease (white flowers with larger red spots/splotches). These variants are referenced here in a NYFA Newsletter  if you wish to read more.

It was very late in the day and the light was low so these pictures are not my best but hopefully you'll be able to see and enjoy this rare beauty as well!