Anagallis arvensis L.

2323 (1). A. arvensis L., Sp. PI. ed. 1 (1753) 148; Hayek, Prodr. FI. Penins. Balc. II (1928) 33; Fergus., Fl. Eur. Ill (1972) 28 — Полско огнивче

Fam: Primulaceae Vent. 
Genus:  Anagallis L.
Species: Anagallis arvensis L.
English Name: Blue-scarlet pimpernel, Red pimpernel, Red chickweed, Poorman's barometer, Poor man's weather-glass, Shepherd's weather glass or Shepherd's clock


Annual plant. Root spindle prominent, branching filamentous. Stem 20 - 40 cm tall, 1 -2 mm in diameter, creeping lifted is upright, sharp angular or flat, at the bottom and mid-bare, the top rarely sessile glandular, single, with few branches, rooting in leaf nodes. Leaves 5 - 14 mm long, 2 - 10 mm wide, opposed, often upright, elliptic to ovate, sessile, covering the stem, with a narrow edge cartilage, naked, flowers in the axils of leaves; flower stems 8 - 22 mm long, sessile glandular, after overblown extending substantially. Calyx 4 - 6 mm long, 2,8 – 3,2 mm wide, bell-shaped, units 5, wedge-shaped, divided almost to the base, with visible keel, edge tunicates, retail jagged, bare or glandular retail. Corolla 8 - 13 mm wide, discoid, shares of corolla 3,5 – 6,5 mm long, 3,5 – 4,0 mm wide, back ovate, the edge 3 - 4 cell glandular or naked, red, blue. Box spherical or slightly elongated, 3 - 4 mm long, 3,2 – 4,5 mm wide, goals. Seed 1,0 – 1,2 mm long, 0,8 – 1,0 mm wide, three keeled, dorsal – ventral flattened, surface verrucose, edges winged.


Subsp. arvensis. Stem smooth. Leaves elliptic to ovate. The flowers red, edge with 3 - 4 glands. Distributed within the floristic areal of the species.
Subsp. foemina (Mill.) Schinz et Thell. Fergus. I.e .; A foemina Mill., Gard. Diet. II (1768) 8; Hayek, Prodr.Fl Penins.Balc. II (1928) 33; A. coerulea Schreb., Fl.Lips (1774) 5; Vel., Fl. Bulg. (1891) 476; A. arvensis var. coerulea (Schreb.) Stoj. et Stef., Fluoro. Bul. Ed. 1, II (1925) 868. The stem sharply ridged. Leaves lance. Flowers blue, without glands at the edge. Distributed within the floristic areal of the species.

Note. Perception of two types - A. arvensis L. and A. foemina Mill- according Fergusson (1972) results in the creation of artificial taxonomic scheme. Both taxa are tetraploid with sympatric areas in southwestern and central their parts (apparently in the Southeast, according to our data) and subsp. arvensis reaches a more northern limit. An essential distinguishing feature is considered absence of glands on the corolla of subsp. foemina. But this sign there are some transitions. The data emerging picture of two similar taxa derived in the way of structural change of a major tetraploid karyotype. It has formed a southern race, not new morphological complex. In this sense, we agree with Fergusson, that subspecies rank best reflects the relationship between these two taxa. Penzez (1937) reported A. dörfieri Ronn. (A. arvensis x foemina) to the vicinity of Malko Tarnovo. This message was not confirmed, and the materials on which was made known.
From  „Флора на НР България”, том VIII, БАН, София, (1982)

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Scarlet pimpernel, commonly known as blue-scarlet pimpernel,[1] red pimpernel, red chickweed, poorman's barometer, poor man's weather-glass,[2] shepherd's weather glass or shepherd's clock, is a low-growing annual plant. The native range of the species is Europe and Western Asia and North Africa.[3] The species has been distributed widely by humans, either deliberately as an ornamental flower or accidentally.[4] A. arvensis is now naturalised almost worldwide, with a range that encompasses the Americas, Central and East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Malesia, the Pacific Islands, Australasia and Southern Africa.[5][6][7]
Traditionally included in the family Primulaceae, the genus Anagallis was placed in the family Myrsinaceae[8] until that family in turn was included in Primulaceae in the APG III system.
This common European plant is generally considered a weed and is an indicator of light soils, though it grows opportunistically in clayey soils as well. The origin of the name pimpernel comes from pympernele [1400–50]; late Middle English, derived from Middle French pimprenelle, Old French piprenelle; Vulgar Latin *piperīnella= Latin piper pepper + -īn- -ine + -ella diminutive suffix.
The flower is most widely known as the emblem of the fictional hero the Scarlet Pimpernel.


When found as a summer annual, the Scarlet Pimpernel has a low-growing creeping habit, but as a winter annual, it forms a half-rosette with an upright stem. It has weak sprawling stems with square cross-section growing to about 5–30 centimetres (2–12 in) long. They bear bright green, soft, ovate sessile leaves in opposite pairs. The orange, red or blue, radially symmetric flowers, about 10–15 millimetres (0.4–0.6 in) in diameter, are produced singly in the leaf axils from spring to autumn. The petal margins are somewhat crenate and have small glandular hairs. The stamens have lollipop hairs and therefore attract a variety of pollinators, especially flies, but the flowers are also capable of autopollination. The dehiscent capsule fruits ripen from August to October in the northern hemisphere. The weight of the fruiting body bends the stem, and the seeds are transported by the wind or rain. Blue-flowered plants (A. arvensis Forma azurea) are common in some areas, such as the Mediterranean region, and should not be confused with the related Blue pimpernel, Anagallis foemina, sometimes ssp. foemina. In 2007, a molecular phylogenetic study showed that Anagallis foemina is more closely related to Anagallis monelli than to Anagallis arvensis, and should be treated as a separate species.[9] The taxonomy has however not yet been resolved and various authorities propose either the subspecies Anagallis arvensis subsp. foemina (Mill.) Schinz & Thell, or the species Lysimachia foemina (Mill.) U.Manns & Anderb.[10] The plant has a diploid chromosome count of 2n=40.[11]
Scarlet pimpernel flowers open only when the sun shines, and even close in overcast conditions.[2] This habit leads to names such as "shepherd's weather glass". It has recently started to occur along the verges of salted roads, creating a broad red band along the roadside.[12]
The Scarlet Pimpernel has a wide variety of flower colours. The petals of the type arvensis are bright red to minium-coloured; carnea is deep peach, lilacina is lilac; pallida is white; and azurea is blue. The blue form can be difficult to distinguish from A. foemina, but the petal margins are diagnostic: whereas foemina has clearly irregular petal margins with only 5 to 15 glandular hairs, A. arvensis f. azurea has 50 to 70 hairs on only slightly irregular margins.

Medical and agricultural significance

Anagallis arvensis is generally unwelcome as a cosmopolitan invasive species; it is harmfully toxic in several respects and accordingly undesirable in pastures. Perhaps fortunately, the plant is acrid and bitter, and grazing livestock generally avoid eating it except in conditions of overgrazing or grazing of unsatisfying stubble. Experimental feeding of the plant material to various animals, such as horses and dogs, caused gastroenteritis.[13] Sufficiently high doses proved fatal.[14] Less specifically the herb has been reported as being toxic to poultry and rabbits, and the seed to birds.[13]
Understandably, Anagallis arvensis is less often used in folk medicine worldwide, than where it has long been familiar in its countries of origin. In various countries however, the plant material has been applied externally to slow-healing ulcers and wounds. It also has been applied as an expectorant and as a remedy for pruritus, rheumatism, haemorrhoids, rabies, leprosy, and snake-bite. Anagallis has been used in treatment of non-specified types of phthisis, and of kidney-related conditions such as dropsy and chronic nephritis. It was used as an antidepressant in ancient Greece, and to treat various mental disorders in European folk medicine, leading to the German name Gauchheil (Gauch meaning "fool" or "cuckoo", and heil meaning "heal"). Generally however, documented evidence for clinical efficacy is lacking. Anagallis arvensis also is known in homeopathy as Anagallis Arvensis Herba, and used against various rashes and nervous complaints.[13]
Anagallis arvensis is insecticidal, or at least is repellent to some insects, possibly by virtue of its pungent essential oil which has a characteristic smell. Taken by mouth, experimental doses of the liquid in humans caused twenty-four hours of intense nausea, headache and bodily pain. Some people also experience dermatitis from contact with the leaf. Reports from Australia state that when grain crops have been infested by the weed, chaff that contains much of the material becomes unpalatable to stock as fodder. When grazing in pasture, livestock usually leave the plant alone, but when they do nonetheless eat significant quantities, they suffer diuretic and narcotic effects sufficiently intense to justify regarding the plant as poisonous.[14] Reportedly an Indian practice of expelling leeches from dog nostrils can lead to fatal results if the animal swallows the fluid.[13]
The herb and its seed contain saponins, which could explain why fresh material is strongly haemolytic.[15] Among other possible glycosides,[14] the root yields the triterpenoid glycoside cyclamin[13] which is highly toxic and occurs in Cyclamen species,[16] also a member of the subfamily Myrsinoideae, and arguably also in the Primulaceae.[17]
The plant contains tanning agents, bitters, and the proteolytic enzyme primverase.
Antibacterial tests of the green parts failed to show any encouraging positive effect.[13]
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Anagallis arvensis L. is an accepted name

This name is the accepted name of a species in the genus Anagallis (family Primulaceae).
The record derives from WCSP (in review) (data supplied on 2012-03-23) which reports it as an accepted name with original publication details: Sp. Pl. 148 1753.
Full publication details for this name can be found in IPNI:


See "Status", "Confidence level", "Source" for definitions.
From “The Plant List” -

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Flowering Time: Blooms: V - VII, fruitful: VII - VIII.

References: „Флора на НР България”, том VIII, БАН, София, (1982),Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “The Plant List” -

Distribution in Bulgaria: Grow in damp places, farmland, pastures and meadows. Widespread from sea level up to about 800 m altitude. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Cosmopolitan with the exception of the northern, tropical and extreme southern regions of the globe.

Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act -

Medical plant: yes, it is - Medicinal Plants Act -

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