Posts Tagged ‘jumping Betty’

My long and enjoyable three weeks in the Franche-Comté were filled most days with desperately needed rain. The forest, grass, and flowers soaked it all up, literally, so we tried not to mind getting wet while taking our daily walks.

We saw a variety of flowers in window boxes, flower boxes in the towns, as well as in gardens. But in the wild, the most prolific flower was Impatiens balsamina. That’s a bit of a mouthful, so feel free to call it by one of its more descriptive and enjoyable nicknames: touch-me-not, lady’s slipper, and jumping Betty. You can see the slipper shape that gives rise to that name, but to my mind, touch-me-not is exactly right, but not because touching the plant will hurt you.

See the green seeds pods in the lower left-hand corner of the photo? If you touch one that’s just ripe enough, the pod explodes, sending the tiny seeds in all directions. It’s startling the first time it happens, but so much fun that you’ll just want to keep on doing it…as we did. You’ll have a great time helping bring more flowers into the world. 🙂