Scarlet Pimpernel - Anagallis arvensis


    Low prostrate or ascending plant with square stems.  Leaves mostly opposite, oval, pointed with black gland dots beneath, unstalked.  Flowers are 4 to 7 mm diameter, petals with hairy margin, often slightly toothed at apex.  The flowers are usually orangey-scarlet (subsp. arvensis), occasionally pink, but two blue colour forms occur, namely Anagallis arvensis subsp. arvensis forma azurea and Anagallis arvensis subsp. foemina, these can only be reliably separated by detailed examination. The flowers close up around 3pm.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    The blue subspecies foemina is on the VC55 Rare Plant Register, and therefore a photo is needed for verification


    Cultivated, disturbed and waste ground, pathways and gardens.

    When to see it

    May to October.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Fairly common throughout Britain, but mainly coastal in the far north.

    VC55 Status

    Quite common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 365 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) the scarlet subspecies is listed as native, occasional.

    The blue subsp. foemina is listed as Alien (archaeophyte) and is on the Rare Plant Register.


    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map