Anagallis arvensis, Anagallis arvensis ssp. foemina, Anagallis tenella, Blue pimpernel, Bog pimpernel, British flora, Lysimachia nemorum, pimpernel, Scarlet pimpernel, Yellow pimpernel
For Floral Friday this week I bring you the Pimpernels.
First, the pimpernel flower many of you will be familiar with, Scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), also known as Old man’s weathervane and Poor man’s weatherglass due to its habit of shutting its petals when the weather becomes wet or dull. (I imagine they will be very firmly shut against today’s wind and rain!) The flower also functions as a timekeeper as it opens its petals around 8am and closes them at 2pm, even when the weather’s fine.
I only learned quite recently that the Scarlet has a subspecies, the Blue pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis ssp. foemina). This is supposedly quite rare and mostly found in southern England, though the one in my photographs is growing in my friend Hilary’s south Wales garden.
As its name suggests, the Bog pimpernel (Anagallis tenella) prefers watery places, marshy areas and soggy peat bogs. Its delicate pink flowers sprinkle the ground like petals under a blossoming cherry tree.
There is also a yellow-flowered pimpernel – you guessed it, the Yellow pimpernel (Lysimachia nemorum) – that is commonly seen in established deciduous woodland and alongside shaded streams. Although it carries the name pimpernel, this lovely little plant is actually a separate genus and is more closely related to plants like Creeping-Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) and Yellow loosestrife (L. vulgaris).
How many of these lovely pimpernels have you managed to see?
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