A jewel of the forest hangs like a shiny pendent from a delicate plant growing out of a rocky crevice on a steep streambank. A few years ago, this was a common bloomer along Indian Creek. However it has been increasingly heavily browsed, rarely making it to flower and its seed bank is being depleted. This annual plant requires flowering and seed production for survival. In some areas, Japanese knotweed has also replaced its habitat. It likes to grow in moist areas in a decent amount of shade.
This is in our garden! This specimen was planted from seed! We waited all summer for this to bloom, and we were worried it would not make it, being that it is a sunny yard. But it grew and grew next to our Hibiscus moschuetos, which likes bright sunlight. We planted the jewelweed right where the drainpipe ends, so it gets plenty of moisture.
As of this morning, there is just this one flower, which is starting to get torn up by the bees and possibly the hummingbirds. However a new flower is starting to unfold from a tightly wrapped green sphere about one-quarter of an inch in diameter. Tomorrow, a fresh orange flower is expected. Will our precious jewelweed make it to seed?