Plant of the day: scarlet pimpernel

Little salmon-colored flashes can be seen peeking through low-lying grasses, usually beginning in March and going through September. This is scarlet pimpernel, or Anagallis arvensis. Often it can be seen growing in grassy fields, road-cuts or trailsides along with a visual cacophony of other tiny flowers. It’s striking among them because it’s five petals are such a distinctive color, darkening into a rosy central ring around pinkish stamen. Because it’s everywhere, it’s an easy childhood favorite – at least, it was one of mine. So it was a sad grown-up realization to learn this little bloom is not native… But at least we have the comfort that it isn’t listed as “invasive”, meaning that although it didn’t originate from hereabouts, at least it isn’t doing much in the way of damage to the local species now that it has arrived.

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Filed under Non-native, Plant of the day

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