Anagallis arvensis,
Scarlet Pimpernel, Shepherd's Barometer, Poor man's weatherglass,
Hebrew: מרגנית השדה, Arabic: عين القط, Egypt: عين الجمل "Ain El-Gamal"

Scientific name:  Anagallis arvensis L.
Common name:  Bird´s-Eye, Scarlet Pimpernel, Shepherd's Barometer, Poor man's weatherglass
Hebrew name:  Marganit ha-sadeh, עין התכלת, Ein ha-tekhelet, מרגנית השדה
Arabic name:  أناغالس حقلي
Egypt:  عين الجمل "Ain El-Gamal"
Family:  Primulaceae, רקפתיים

Anagallis arvensis, Scarlet Pimpernel,Shepherd's Barometer,Poor man's weatherglass,עין התכלת,מרגנית השדה

Life form:   Therophyte, annual
Stems:  fleshy; square in cross section
Leaves:  Opposite, entire
Inflorescence:  Flowers in axils of upper leaves; pedicels to 4cm long, recurved in fruit
Flowers:  Calyx lobes connate at the base; corolla blue or scarlet-red, petals dentate or entire, glandular-ciliate; glands numerous, 3-celled, the terminal cell globose; stamens with bearded filaments
Fruits / pods:  Round 5 ridged lid-capsule; capsules opposite, quite prolific along the stems, seeds papillose
Flowering Period:   March, April
Habitat:   Batha, Phrygana
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts and extreme deserts, Montane vegetation of Mt. Hermon
Chorotype:   Euro-Siberian - Med - Irano-Turanian
Summer shedding:  Ephemeral

Israel Wildflowers


Derivation of the botanical name:
Anagallis,(given by Dioscorides) from the Greek Anagelao, signifying 'to laugh,' from its use in treating depression.
arvensis, arvum, field, cultivated land, plowed land; ensis adjective suffix for nouns: country or place of origin or habitat. MeaningL: "of cultivated fields".
Pimpernel is from the Latin bipinnella, applied in the sixteenth century to plants with bipinnate leaves.
Several of the common names, " Shepherd's Barometer and poor man's weatherglass", relate to weather forecasting, since the flowers open and close with changing weather.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
Once it was regarded as a medicinal herb, with uses dating back to Pliny and Dioscorides.
  • Pliny the Elder, Natural History, Book XXV, 144: There are two kinds of Anagallis: the male with a scarlet flower, and the female with a blue one; neither is more than a span in height, the stem being tender, and the leaves tiny, round and lying on the ground. the blue-flowered kind blossoms first.The juice of either kind, applied with honey, disperses film on the eyes, suffusions of blood from a blow, and reddish argema...
    We Romans call it "cat's-eye".

    Pliny speaks of its value in liver complaints, and the Greeks used it for diseases of the eye.
  • Gerard John (1545-1612) says, "the Pimpernel with the blue flower helpeth the fundament that is fallen down: and, contrariwise, red Pimpernel being applied bringeth it down."
  • Nicholas Culpeper (1616 – 1654) an English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer. tells us, 'it helpeth also all stinging and biting of venomous beasts or mad dogs.'
  • Mrs Maud Grieve (1858-1941) A Modern Herbal: This plant once had a great reputation in medicine, and was used as a universal panacea. 'No heart can think, no tongue can tell The virtues of the Pimpernel'.
One writer says the flower opens at eight minutes past seven and closes at three minutes past two.

Anagallis arvensis, Scarlet Pimpernel,Poor man's weatherglass, מרגנית השדה,עין התכלת


Flora of Israel online


Anagallis arvensis, Scarlet Pimpernel, Shepherd's Barometer,<br> Poor man's weatherglass, عين القط ,מרגנית השדה


Anagallis arvensis, Scarlet Pimpernel, Shepherd's Barometer,<br> Poor man's weatherglass, عين القط ,מרגנית השדה