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Native Plant Trust: Go Botany Discover thousands of New England plants

Family: Balsaminaceae — touch-me-not family

Touch-me-nots are herbaceous plants with showy flowers. The leaf arrangement on the stem may be alternate, opposite, or whorled. There are 3 sepals, one of which is larger than the other two and projects behind the flower into a spur-like sac that contains nectar. There is a single upper petal, and 4 lower petals, with 2 fused together on each side of the flower, creating the illusion of only 3 petals. The flowers have both pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing parts, with 5 stamens attached around the stigma. The fruit is a capsule that splits explosively when it is mature.

This family’s genera in New England

Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key