Flowers: small; growing in a raceme on a naked scape. Calyx: of four sepals that fall early. Corolla: of four two-cleft petals. Stamens: six, of which two are shorter than the others. Pistil: one. Pod: flat; somewhat lanceolate. Leaves: from the root; oblong to lanceolate. Scape: one to three inches high.
This little member of the spicy mustard family makes its home in sandy, waste places. It has been naturalised from Europe.
Pimpernel. Poor-Man's, Or Shepherds Weather Glas5.
Reddish, white, or blue.
Flowers: small; solitary; axillary; growing on slender flower-stalks. Calyx: five-parted. Corolla: wheel-shaped, with five delicately fringed segments. Stamens: five; the filaments bearded with purple. Pistil: one. Leaves: short; opposite; ovate; almost sessile; darkly spotted. Stem: low; spreading on the ground.
The wish to be of some assistance to the poor man and the shepherd is characteristic of this dear little flower. It spreads itself out abundantly over the sandy, waste fields where they often pass by, and warns them of the approaching storms by closing its petals. At night also and when the day is cloudy it folds them together. The fact that it does so with the choice of a sandy soil for its habitat shows how consistent the plant is in its aversion to moisture.
A. Stdus, St. Peter's-wort, is general in the sandy soil and especially the pine barrens of New Jersey and Long Island. Its petals are longer than the sepals and obovate in outline.