Anagallis arvensis

Scientific Name Anagallis arvensis L.
Common Names English: Red scarlet, scarlet pimpernel; German: Acker-Gauchheil; French: Mouron des champs
Description Annual seed-propagated weed with a thin taproot, opens flowers before rain. A. arvensis was used as a medicinal plant against mental diseases.

Descriptions

Characteristic Features

Sessile, opposite leaves.
Orange-red flowers.
Globose fruits.

Cotyledons

Cotyledons spatulate, acuminate, smooth-margined, sprinkled underneath.

Stems

Prostrate, only slightly ascending, not very ramified, square in cross-section, hairless, up to 15 cm (5.9 inch).

Leaves

Round oval to broad ovate, deep green, glossy, with dark dots underneath, entire margin, nearly sessile, crosswise opposed or coroniform in groups of three.

Propagation Organs

Flowers

Vermilionred, occasionally blue, axillary, long-pedunculate, star-shaped, petals finely dentate, glands ciliate.
Flowers close at night and on cloudy days.

Flowering Period

Early summer - autumn.

Fruit

Capsules papery, 4-6 mm (0.16 - 0.27 inch) in diameter, circumscissile, the style persistent, up to 40 seeds/capsule.

Seeds

Germination usually in late spring. Seeds are dark brown, ca. 0.8 mm (0.031 inch) long, minutely pitted.

Viability of Seeds

>10 years.

Propagation

By seed.
Approx. 100 to 400 seeds per plant.

Occurrence

Habitat

Roadsides, pastures, waste grounds, disturbed sites. Neutral, friable soils with high pore volume.

Soil

A. arvensis prefers neutral, friable soils with high pore volume. It occurs typically in moist soil.

Additional Crop Information

Especially found in spring crops.

Agricultural Importance

Scarlet pimpernell is highly represented in the soil seed bank. Germination occurs over a wide temperature range and in low competition situations (prostrate stem).
The poisonousness of the weed is discussed controversially (Apply caution in silage or feed production!).

Control

Useful non-chemical contribution to Integrated Weed Management

A. arvensis can be easily controlled by mechanical measures and is effectively suppressed by dense crop stands.

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