Touch me not

Biological Name:

Impatiens capensis (Touch-me-not)

Natural Habitat:

Touch-me-not: Typically found in wetland and riparian habitats in the eastern United States.


Touch-me-not also known as Impatiens is a plant that is native to grassland and prairie regions of North America. It is an annual herb that can grow up to two feet tall and it has small oval-shaped leaves and small pink or purple flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant is known for its ability to “explode” when touched scattering its seeds and it is often found in disturbed or degraded habitats.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What does touch-me-not mean in Rizal?
A: The title of this novel is taken from the biblical context, when Jesus says to Mary Magdalene, touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. The dictionary places Noli Me Tangere in this context: “a person or thing that must not be touched or interfered with.”””

Q: What is another name for touch Me Nots?
A: Alternate Synonyms for “touch-me-not””: jewelweed; lady’s earrings; orange balsam; celandine; Impatiens capensis; herb; herbaceous plant. squirting cucumber; exploding cucumber; Ecballium elaterium; gourd; gourd vine. sensitive plant; shame plant; live-and-die; humble plant; action plant; Mimosa pudica; mimosa.”

Q: Where did touch-me-not come from?
A: Mimosa pudica (from Latin: pudica, meaning ‘shy, bashful or shrinking’, also called the touch-me-not), is a creeping annual herb often grown for its curiosity value: the ‘shy’ leaves fold inward and droop when touched or shaken, re-opening only minutes later. The species is native to South and Central America.

Q: Why is it called touch-me-not Noli Me Tangere?
A: The touch-me-not balsam is known by the binominal name Impatiens noli-tangere; its seed pods can explode when touched, dispersing the seeds widely.

Q: Why touch-me-not plant closes when we touch?
A: When we touch Mimosa pudica (touch me not ), our touch acts as stimulus for plant and it closes its leaves in return. Some chemicals are released from the stem when we touch the plant. These chemicals force water to move out of the cell leading to the loss of turgor pressure. As a result, leaves droop.

Q: Is touch-me-not a political novel?
A: With this work Rizal set out to write a novel that would expose the ills of Philippine society and in so doing created a passionate love story set amidst the backdrop of the political conflict against a repressive regime.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.