PRIMROSE FAMILY - Primulaceae: Scarlet Pimpernel; Poor Man's or Shepherd's Weatherglass; Red Chickweed; Burnet Rose; Shepherd's Clock
Flower--Variable, scarlet, deep salmon, copper red, flesh colored, or rarely white; usually darker in the centre; about 1/4 in. across; wheel-shaped; 5-parted; solitary, on thread-like peduncles from the leaf axils. Stem: Delicate; 4-sided, 4 to 12 in. long, much branched, the sprays weak and long. Leaves: Oval, opposite, sessile, black dotted beneath.
Preferred Habitat--Waste places, dry fields and roadsides, sandy soil.
Distribution--Newfoundland to Florida, westward to Minnesota and Mexico.
Tiny pimpernel flowers of a reddish copper or terra cotta color have only to be seen to be named, for no other blossoms on our continent are of the same peculiar shade.
Before a storm, when the sun goes under a cloud, or on a dull day, each little weather prophet closes. A score of pretty folk-names given it in every land it adopts testifies to its sensitiveness as a barometer. Under bright skies the flower may be said to open out flat at about nine in the morning and to begin to close at three in the afternoon.