Scarlet Pimpernel - Lysimachia arvensis

Alternative names
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 (f. arvensis), but sometimes  blue (f. azurea), pink lilac (f. lilacina) or white (f. pallida).  Care needs to be taken when identifying the blue form (f. azurea) as there is a very similar blue species Lysimachia foemina which can only be reliably separated by detailed examination. The flowers close up around 3pm.

Similar Species

Lysimachia foemina is very similar to the blue form azurea.

Identification difficulty

red/pink blue

Recording advice

Care needs to be taken when identifying the blue form (f. azurea - RPR) as there is a very similar blue species Lysimachia foemina and the two can only be reliably separated by detailed examination.  If you have found a blue form, either obtain confirmation from a County Recorder before submitting a record, or submit detailed images showing key features.  We recommend that you take and retain a specimen; the County Recorder may wish to see this for confirmation.


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

The blue-flowered form azurea is on the current VC55 Rare Plant Register (Hall and Woodward 2022) as Locally Rare (i.e. present in less than 3 sites)

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Scarlet Pimpernel
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
01/08/2007 (Calow, Graham)
Last record:
06/10/2023 (Gaten, Ted)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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