Monday, 11 June 2012

Pimpernel flowers.

 Herb: Yellow Pimpernel

Latin name: Lysimachia nemorum

Family: Primulaceae (Primrose Family)

Medicinal use of Yellow Pimpernel: 

An astringent herb, yellow pimpernel is used as a wound herb to staunch bleeding.

 The Scarlet Pimpernel is known to most people as a famous literary character but it is the common name of a flower generally regarded as a weed in the Northern Hemisphere.Anagallis arvensis goes by a lot of names: the "red pimpernel", "red chickweed", "poor man's weather glass", "shepherd's weatherglass" and "shepherd's clock", to name some. It is a low-growing, annual plant in the Myrsinaceae family, growing in Europe, Asia and North America. The common names "poor man's weatherglass", "shepherd's weatherglass" and "shepherd's clock" relate to the fact that the flowers close when bad weather is approaching. The presence of the flower is usually an indication of light soils. The Anagallis arvensis's stems are about 45 cm long and generally prostrate. The flower is most noted for being the emblem of the fictional hero the Scarlet Pimpernel.
 Scarlet Pimpernel: Anagallis arvensis                                                                                      Weed Description:  A low-growing annual that resembles chickweed but has showy reddish-orange flowers.  Primarily a weed of turfgrass and landscapes that is now distributed throughout the United States.
Seedling:  Cotyledons triangular in outline, dark green in color, shiny, with tiny hairs.  Young leaves are opposite and resemble those of the mature plant. 
Leaves:  Opposite, oval to elliptic in outline, reaching 1 inch in length, without petioles.  Lower leaf surfaces have small dark purple spots.  Leaves may have tiny hairs and sometimes may occur in whorls of three                                                                                                                           Stems:  Square, branching at the base, and may reach 10 inches in length.
Fruit:  A round capsule that contains many small (1.3 mm long), brown seeds.
Flowers:  Solitary flowers arise from the area between the stem and leaves (leaf axils) and occur on relatively long stalks (pedicels).  Individual flowers have 5 petals that are orange to red in color with tiny hairs along the margins.  Flowering usually occurs from June to August..
 Bright gentian blue flowers to 1” across with a surprising pink eye & bright yellow anthers lit­erally smother this striking front of the garden annual or dry garden perennial. Neat & compact, this Mediterranean native grows to 10” tall & 20” across & is stunning combined with contrasty blooms & foliage like Ursinia anthemoides & Heuchera ‘Marmalade.’  Thrives with little or no water after established & self-sows!

Description of the plant:

45 cm
(1 foot)
May to

Habitat of the herb: 

Woods and shady hedgebanks.

Propagation of Yellow Pimpernel: 

Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Basal cuttings, March to April in a cold frame. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

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