Pimpernel, a name of doubtful origin, applied in England to two or three different plants, but in this country used only for ana-gallis arvensis, which is also the common pimpernel of England. The plant belongs to the primrose family, and is a low, spreading, much-branched annual, with stems about a foot long; opposite, broadly ovate leaves; and opposite, solitary, axillary flowers, on pedicels which are longer than the leaves and recurved after flowering; the corolla is wheel-shaped, five-parted; the many-seeded pod opens by a circular fissure, the top falling off like a lid; the usual color of the flower is scarlet, sometimes pink, white, and even blue. It is from Europe, and in the older parts of this country grows in sandy fields and sometimes in gardens; it occurs in most parts of the globe. As the flowers close at the approach of bad weather, it is known in England as the " poor man's weather glass." A blue-flowered form is sometimes cultivated, and other species, such as A. fruticosa and- A. Monelli, have given rise to hybrids which are brilliant garden flowers, remaining expanded without sunshine.
Pimpernel (Anagallis arsensis).