Jewel weed is a special woodland plant with beautiful orange, red and sometimes yellow flowers. The leaves appear to be silver or 'jeweled' when held underwater, which is perhaps where the name jewelweed comes from. Another possible reason for the name jewelweed is to describe the shape of the bright robin's egg-blue kernels of the projectile seeds. Jewel weed occurs in moist, semi-shaded areas throughout northern and eastern North America.
Jewel weed has a long history of use in Native American medicine. When applied topically, the sap from the stem and leaves is said to relieve itching and discomfort from a variety of ailments, including hives, poison ivy and other skin rashes and irritations. The sap has also been shown to have anti-fungal properties and can be used to treat athlete’s foot. Jewelweed makes a lovely addition to native gardens attracting hummingbirds, bumblebees, and butterflies are attracted to the flowers’ color and unique shape.