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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Scarlet pimpernel is typically an annual or short-lived perennial species (3). It flowers from May to late August and is pollinated by visiting insects, which are attracted by means of bright purple hairs inside the flowers which apparently act as lures (5). When it is ripe, the fruit capsule at the centre of the flower splits open, with the top section hinging backwards to allow the release of the tiny seeds within (4). This plant was widely used in the past to treat toothache, liver problems, snake bites and kidney inflammation. As the names 'laughter bringer' and 'shepherd's joy' indicate, it was also used to reduce bouts of melancholia (4).
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Description

As the alternative names of shepherd's sundial and shepherd's weather-glass suggest, scarlet pimpernel is well-known for its ability to indicate both the weather and the time of day. The small, bright scarlet flowers open at around 8 am each day, and close at 3 pm. They also close during humid or damp weather (4). This member of the primrose family is a diminutive plant, creeping close to the ground. The egg-shaped leaves are pale green and dotted with black on the undersides (2). The flowers of the subspecies native to Britain (arvensis) are red or pink, but a blue-flowered form (Forma azurea) also occurs, which is often confused with the introduced subspecies blue pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis subsp. foemina) (2). The name pimpernel comes from the Old French pimprenele, the misapplied name of the burnet saxifrage, Pimpinella saxifrage (4).
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Comprehensive Description

Derivation of specific name

arvensis: of cultivated fields
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Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats & Eastern Ghats, Moist Deciduous Forests, Open Localities in Grasslands"
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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"Maharashtra: Ahmednagar, Kolhapur, Nasik, Pune, Raigad, Satara Karnataka: Chikmagalur, Coorg, Dharwar, Hassan, Mysore, N. Kanara, Shimoga Tamil Nadu: Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Namakkal, Nilgiri, Salem, Tiruvannamalai"
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Distribution in Egypt

Sinai (St.Katherine).

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Range

This native plant is common and widespread throughout much of Britain, becoming a rare and mainly coastal species further north, particularly in Scotland (2) (3). Elsewhere this species has a very broad global distribution, being found throughout much of the world, except the tropics (2).
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Europe, W. Asia, most N. temperate regions, Himalaya (Kashmir to Nepal), India, Ceylon.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Annual. Stem decumbent to erect, not rooting at the nodes, square in outline. Leaves sessile, opposite-decussate, pale green, 10-16 x 7-12 mm, ovate-oblong, obtuse or subacute, upper ones smaller, nerves faint, gland dotted (dots reddish), margin minutely papillose. Flowers solitary axillary, red or blue (or shades of them); pedicel 1.4-2.5 (-3.5) cm long, slender, glandulose (hairs with reddish heads), nodding in bud condition, usually exceeding the subtending leaf. Calyx shortly campanulate; lobes 3.5-4 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, subacuminate, midrid pro¬minent, margin membranous and minutely ciliolate. Corolla rotate; lobes 4-5 mm long, obovate, apex erose-denticulate, glandular-stipitate; the glands 3-celled, with the terminal cell globose. Stamens ± equalling the carpel; filaments 2-2.5 mm long, reddish-pink, basally dilated and connate; glandular, the glands 7-11-celled, pinkish, towards base colourless; anthers 1 mm long, basifixed, yellow, ± apiculate. Ovary globose, less than 1 mm broad; style 2-2.2 mm long, pinkish, persistent. Stigma capitate. Pyxidium globose, 4-5 mm broad. Seeds trigonal, c. 1 mm broad, dark brown, vesiculose.
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Elevation Range

600-2700 m
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Description

Herbs annual or biennial, 10--30 cm tall. Stems quadrangular, short winged on ridges, usually branched from base. Leaves opposite, occasionally in whorls of 3, sessile, ovate to narrowly ovate, 7--18(--25) X 3--12(--15) mm, minutely glandular punctate mainly abaxially, base subrounded, margin entire, apex obtuse or acute. Pedicel recurved in fruit, 2--3 cm. Calyx lobes linear-lanceolate, 3.5--6 mm, hyaline margined, apex long acuminate, costate. Corolla blue or red, rotate, 4--6 mm, parted nearly to base; lobes obovate-elliptic, 2.7--3 mm wide, margin entire to denticulate. Stamens 1/3--1/2 as long as corolla; filaments pubescent. Style ca. 1.5 mm. Capsule ca. 3.5 mm in diam. 2n = 22, 28, 40@.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Herb
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Ecology

Habitat

Occuring in open habitats and typically a weed of arable areas and gardens, scarlet pimpernel is also found around rabbit warrens, on road verges, sand dunes, heaths, chalk downland and on coastal cliffs (2)(3).
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Habitat & Distribution

Cultivated areas, wasteland, roadsides. Fujian, Guangdong, Taiwan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, India, Japan, Kashmir, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia; NW Africa, W Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America].
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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / pathogen
colony of Alternaria dematiaceous anamorph of Alternaria anagallidis infects and damages girdled stem of Anagallis arvensis

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Monostegia abdominalis grazes on leaf of Anagallis arvensis
Other: major host/prey

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Annual.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Anagallis arvensis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Anagallis arvensis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 9
Specimens with Barcodes: 28
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Status

Common and widespread: not threatened (3).
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Threats

This species is not threatened.
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Management

Conservation

Conservation action is not required for this very common species.
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Wikipedia

Anagallis arvensis

Scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis; also known as red pimpernel, red chickweed, poorman's barometer, poor man's weather-glass,[1] shepherd's weather glass or shepherd's clock) is a low-growing annual plant. The native range of the species is Europe and Western and North Africa.[2] The species has been distributed widely by humans, either deliberately as an ornamental flower or accidentally.[3] 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.[4][5][6]

Although traditionally included in the family Primulaceae, the genus Anagallis is now considered to be better placed within the related family Myrsinaceae.[7] In the APG III system, Primulaceae is expanded to include Myrsinaceae, thus Anagallis is in Primulaceae sensu lato.

This common European plant is generally considered a weed and is an indicator of light soils. The origin of the pimpernel name 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.

It is most well known for being the emblem of the fictional hero the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Description[edit]

Scarlet pimpernel has weak sprawling stems growing to about 50 cm (20in.) long, which bear bright green ovate sessile leaves in opposite pairs. The small orange, red or blue flowers are produced in the leaf axils from spring to autumn. The petal margins are somewhat crenate and have small glandular hairs. 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.[8] Scarlet pimpernel flowers are open only when the sun shines.[1]

In Literature[edit]

Scarlet pimpernel(Anicham in Tamil) is one of the two flowers mentioned in Tirukkural.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis)". Connecticut Botanical Society. 
  2. ^ http://www.iewf.org/weedid/Anagallis_arvensis.htm
  3. ^ http://www.ispot.org.za/node/171727
  4. ^ http://eol.org/pages/583434/details
  5. ^ http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=200016886
  6. ^ http://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/UQCentenary/key/UQ_Centenary/Media/Html/anagallisarvensis.htm
  7. ^ Mari Källersjö, Gullevi Bergqvist and Arne A. Anderberg (2000). "Generic realignment in primuloid families of the Ericales s.l.: a phylogenetic analysis based on DNA sequences from three chloroplast genes and morphology". American Journal of Botany (American Journal of Botany, Vol. 87, No. 9) 87 (9): 1325–1341. doi:10.2307/2656725. JSTOR 2656725. PMID 10991903.  (full pdf.text)
  8. ^ Manns, Ulrika; Anderberg, Arne A. (2007). "Relationships of Anagallis foemina and Anagallis arvensis (Myrsinaceae): New insights inferred from DNA sequence data". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45 (3): 971–980. doi:10.1016/j.mpev.2007.07.022. PMID 17869544. 

Sources[edit]

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