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How The Jewel Weed Earned Its Many Names

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Jewel Weed sparkles in the sun after a summer rain. Read how this flower earned the name and a few others. Wildflowers have a way of catching your attention.

The one known as lady's slipper is no exception. When walking near lakes and ponds you may well be surprised by the glistening orange specks shining against the horizon.

From a distance they look like orange dots spread throughout the tall weeds along the lake. Of course, this curious nature photographer had to get a closer look to see what could be glistening so in the afternoon sun.

I was delighted to discover what appeared to be tiny flowers dangling like lady's slippers hung from a tree.  And that term lady slippers is just one of the names this flower has been called throughout history.

The Jewel Weed Photo Gallery Starts Here

The shape and brilliant orange color of these jewels helped me in finding just what names this flower has.  The captions of each picture is a name these flowers are also known as.

And indeed a closer look at the flower will give you an idea where the names came from.

First we have Jewel Weed. When walking after a summer rain the first thing you may notice is the sparkling droplets of water on these flowers. The sun shining on those water drops make these bushes come to life as if they were jewels waiting for the plucking.

Now the plucking part would be where that spotted touch-me-not name comes in. The temptation is great to reach out and touch these beautiful flowers. But when you do be prepared for a surprise. The flower shoots its seeds at the slightest touch.

The photos in this row give you an idea of a before and after picture. Notice in the first picture the flower has a cluster in the middle of it's horn shape.

These are the seeds for regeneration of next year's crop. You can also see where the term spotted comes from here. Notice the spots on the pedals of these golden gems.

The picture in the middle is an example of the jewel weed after it has released those seeds. Children love pinching the backs of these flowers and giggle with delight as seeds shoot out sometimes as far as four feet away.

Isn't it fun the way Mother Nature provides entertainment for the humans walking her paths while also ensuring the continuation of a species that delights the eye when you see it?

In one of my favorite books, Jude's Herbal Home Remedies, you'll find, (page 106), that the oils from the jewel weed stem is a treatment for poison oak. You may choose to boil a handful of flower petals in 4 cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain and apply to the affected area. This is just one of the tips in what I consider a must have for your home remedy collection.

This has to be where the term "wild balsam" comes from in reference to another name for this flower.

Many wildflowers have healing properties but they also may have properties that are less than pleasant to humans. Always use caution and ask a professional before trying home remedies.

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Join the fun of telling about your flower discoveries. Or simply share what you know about the flowers here. Make comments on your favorite photos. Even correct me when you know I've mislabeled a plant.

Perhaps you have a story about field lilies in my garden like Vera from Oregon. And there is Tom also from Oregon who let me know my Chicory page was outdated with his Blue Sailors Travel West story.

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