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The common pimpernel has confused both field workers and reputed authors alike, but luckily the confusion seems to have been resolved more recently. 

Carolus Linnaeus, the Father of Taxonomy described two closely related species of Anagallis:

Anagallis arvensis L., the scarlet pimpernel with orange-scarlet to scarlet flowers
Anagallis caerulea L., the blue pimpernel with blue flowers

The two are now treated as two varieties var. arvensis and var. caerulea (L.) Gouan of Anagallis arvensis L.

Schreber, Spic. Fl. Lips. 5 1771 described a related species Anagallis coerulea (note slight difference in spellings), also used by Lamarck, a taxon that had been long treated as same var. caerulea of A. arvensis. It was only in 1972 that Fergussen established it to be a synonym of a distinct species Anagallis foemina Miller (1768). The plant List treats this as Anagallis arvensis subsp. foemina (Mill.) Schinz & Thell. Important to note that this taxon always has blue flowers.  
 
This is how the two species can be differentiated:

 

Anagallis arvensis 

(or Anagallis arvensis
subsp. arvensis)     
                  


Anagallis foemina

(or Anagallis arvensis subsp. foemina (Mill.) Schinz & Thell.)


 

1.

 Flowers scarlet (var.
arvensis) or blue (var. caerulea) 

 Flowers blue

2.

 Pedicel in flower longer
than subtending leaf.

 Pedicel in flower shorter
or equal to the subtending leaf.

3.

Sepals shorter than petals especially in bud 

Sepals equalling or longer than petals especially in bud

4.

 Petal margins
overlapping 

Petal margins not overlapping

5.

Petal margins with numerous hairs tipped with  globose glands.

With few or no hairs, which if present have elongate
terminal cells

 

 

 


 










Binomial Habit Notes References Distribution












Anagallis
arvensis
L.
Herb Western Ghats
& Eastern Ghats, Moist Deciduous Forests, Open  Localities in Grasslands
Flora of Tamil
Nadu, VOL. II, 1987; Gamble 1957
Dharmapuri,
Dindigul, Namakkal, Nilgiri, Salem, Tiruvannamalai 


 

 
 

Botanical name Family Common name
Anagallis arvensis ssp. arvensis Myrsinaceae Scarlet Pimpernel
Anagallis arvensis ssp. foemina Myrsinaceae Blue Pimpernel


 

 
Medicinal and Aromatic Plants XI edited by Y.P.S. Bajaj (1999)- Details-
 
 
Aquatic and Semi-aquatic Plants of the Lower Ganga Delta: Its Taxonomy … By Kumudranjan Naskar (1990)- Details with keys
 
 

By Umberto Quattrocchi (2012)- Details-

 
Biodiversity in India, Volume 4 edited by T. Pullaiah (2006)- Details-
 
 
 
Gardening in India By George Marshall Woodrow, G Marshall (1999)- Details-

 
Flora of Madhya Pradesh: Chhatarpur and Damoh By G. P. Roy, B. K. Shukla, Bhaskar Datt (1992)- Details-

 
A Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs By Steven Foster, Christopher Hobbs (2005)- Details-

Anagallis : 1 post by 1 author.

I have updated eFI (efloraofindia) page on Anagallis

Attempts have been made to incorporate most of the species available in India & nearby areas with details & keys directly or through links as far as possible. It’s quite possible that there may be some discrepancy in the accepted names & synonyms taken from other links.

Species discussed so far in efloraofindia are given at the bottom of the page in the form of links against Subpages. On clicking them one can see all the details.

Any comments/ corrections are welcome.


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