Scarlet Pimpernel

Anagallis arvensis

Red Pimpernel, Red Chickweed, Poorman's Barometer, Poor Man's Weather-Glass, Shepherd's Weather Glass, Shepherd's Clock

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Anagallis arvensis or scarlet pimpernel is a low-growing prostrate annual plant. It does not compete well with other species so it favours locations where the soil is free from other plants. This common European plant is generally considered a weed and is an indicator of light soils, though it grows opportunistically in clay soils as well. In gardens, this species can be displayed with pride at the front of borders and rockeries. The flower is most widely known as the emblem of the fictional hero the Scarlet Pimpernel, hence the common name.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Not harvested

Propagation

Seed

Sow Scalet pimpernel in situ at a depth of 1/4 cm below the soil surface, with a spacing of 12 to 20 cm after the last frost of spring. It requires between 30 days and 45 days to germinate.

Special features

Origin

Europe, Western Asia and North Africa.

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Clay, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Personality

Family

Primulaceae

Flower colour

Yellow, Orange, Blue

Scent

None

Problems

Generally problem free

Companion plants

Pimpernel does not compete well, so it is best planted on its own with enough space around it to prevent competition from other plants.