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March 2012
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Anagallis Arvensis, also known as Scarlet Pimpernel is a low-growing annual plant.

Image of Anagallis Arvensis plant at Google

Anagallis arvensis which is also known as Scarlet pimpernel, red pimpernel, red chickweed, poor man’s barometer, poor man’s weather-glass, shepherd’s weather glass or shepherd’s clock is a low-growing annual plant. It is found in Europe, Asia and North America.

– The Scarlet pimpernel flowers have a specialty of opening only when the sun shines.
– This belongs to the family Myrsinaceae and the genus Anagallis.
– This is known as a weed and an indicator of light soils.
– The stems of this European plant are weak and they sprawl and grow about 50cm in length.
– The leaves are sessile and placed in opposite pairs and have bright green color.
– The flowers are orange, red to blue flowers.
– They are borne on leaf axils and bloom from spring to autumn.
– The margins of the petals are crenate and have glandular hairs.
– In Mediterranean region, the blue flowered plants are prominent.
– Anagallis foemina is known as its subspecies.
– The plant’s leaves are used and they are odorless and unsavory taste.
– It has a harsh, pungent taste and the unpleasant acrid bitterness of the leaves was due to cyclamin, a white, poisonous, crystalline principle.
– It was considered an antidote to poison many years ago and is used now in mania, epileptic attacks, dropsical affections, and other derangements of the nervous system.

Growing/Caring conditions for Anagallis arvensis
– Presoak the seeds in sterile water for a day.
– Germinate the seeds in a medium with no organic matter.
– Germinate on a damp tissue paper.
– Horticultural sand, perlite and vermiculite are ideal.
– Germination minimum temperature is of 22°C.
– Sow the seeds outside about 1/4 cm deep and cover and water lightly.
– Sow the seed with a spacing of 12 to 20 cm after the last frost of spring.
– Keep the soil moist but not wet.
– The soil should be a well drained type.
– Keep the location in full sunlight.
– Germination of seeds should take between 30 days and 45 days.
– Water regularly and sparingly.
– The location should not be too hot as they might wilt or die.
– Feed with a fertilizer during summer months.
– Once seedlings are well established, move them to individual pots.
– 50% cactus compost, 50% perlite or 50% peat substitute, 25% coconut coir and 25% perlite can be provided for well draining of the soil.
– These plants are best planted outside as transplanting them is a problem.

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