Anagallis arvensis L. - PRIMULACEAE - Dicotyledon

Synonymes : Anagallis arvensis subsp. phoenicea (Scop.) Schinz & R. Keller, Anagallis latifolia L., Anagallis phoenicea Scop.

Common name : Pimpernel, scarlet pimpernel, sheperd’s weather-glass
Common name in Hindi : Krishananeel
Common name in Urdu : Billi booti

Habit - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Solitary flowers - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad The fruit is a capsule curved down  - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Leaves with opposite arrangement - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad The bottom of the leaves with black dots - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Petals with glandular hairs on the margins - © Juliana PROSPERI - Cirad Botanical line drawing - © -

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Diagnostic characters Biology Ecology and distribution Nuisance Weed control Botany Uses/Remark References

Diagnostic characters :

Anagallis arvensis is a small winter or summer herb, native of Europe (or the Mediterranean region) that has spread throughout the world, as a result of the movements of European emigrants. It is primarily a weed of pulses, cereals in general, vegetables and small oil seed crop. The stem is quadrangular, branched from the base. It has solitary flowers having different shades of colour ranging from blue to red.

Biology :

Pimpernel propagates through seeds. Germination starts in November-December and it matures in March-April.

Ecology and distribution :

Besides cultivated field it also infests moist non-cropped land. It is found on a wide range of soils, mostly under disturbed conditions.

Nuisance :

Principally found in wheat crops, with lesser extent in vegetables and oilseeds (Crucifers) crops.
It has been known as a poisonous plant if taken internally, especially for dogs, horses, and man. It has been reported to cause dermatitis in some individuals if the leaves or stems are handled. The poisonous principle is thought to be a saponin.

Weed control :

- Chemical
This species is easily controlled through most of the pre and post-emergence herbicides recommended for wheat. Pre and early post-emergence application of Stomp 330 E and Buctril-M 40 EC. Post-emergence application of 2_4-D at 500 g/ha or Metsulfuron at 4 g/ha.

Botany :

Habit
Procumbent, ascending or sometimes erect annual herb that can become perennial.
Roots
Fibrous roots.
Stem
The stem is quadrangular, weak, gland dotted, diffusely branched from the base, 10 to 40cm long.
Leaves
Leaves are opposite, rarely in a whorl of three, sessile to clasping at base, ovate to oval, 5 to 25mm long. The margins are entire, obtuse to somewhat acute at tip, the base is cordate. Both leaf surfaces are glabrous, and the bottom is dotted with black glands.
Inflorescence
Solitary, axillary on thin peduncles of 1 to 5cm long, erect in flower, curved down on fruit. The calyx is persistent, with 5 lanceolate, acuminate lobes 3 to 5mm long. The corolla is deeply five-parted, 8 to 14mm across, a little shorter than the calyx; glandular hairs (terminal cell enlarged, globose) on the margins.
Flowers have different colours, usually salmon, pink, red or blue; blue flowers are most common and white ones rare.
Stamens five, attached to base of corolla, clothed with numerous purple-fringed (villous) filaments.
Fruit
Membranous globose capsule 3 to 5mm across, the top falling off as a lid. Seed
1mm long, three-angled, brown, covered with tiny scales.
Seedling
Seedling with petiolate cotyledons, rhombic and apex obtuse. First leaves nearly sessile, ovate-oblong, apex obtuse or sub acute, small dark dots above.

Uses/Remark :

The species has been divided into at least two subspecies: subspecies phoenicia (Scop.) Schinz & Keller, which usually has a scarlet corolla, and subspecies foemina (Mill.) Schinz & Thell. with a blue corolla.

References :

- Holm L. G., Plucknett D. L., Pancho J. V., Herberger J. P. 1991. The world’s worst weeds. Distribution and Biology. East-West Center by the University Press. Hawaii.
- Häfliger T. J., Wolf B. M. 1981. Dicotyledonous weeds 1. Ciba-Geigy. Basel. Switzerland.
- Guyot L., Guillemat J. 1962. Semences et plantules des principales mauvaises herbes. Fond National Vulgarisation du Progrès Agricole. France.
- Chhokar R. S., Chauhan D. S., Sharma R. K., Singh R. K. and Singh R. P. 2002. Major weeds of wheat and their management. Bulletin No. 13. Directorate of Wheat Research. Haryana, India.
- Nayyar M. M., Ashiq M. and Ahmad J. 2001. Manual on Punjab weeds (Part I). Directorate of Agronomy. Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad Pakistan.

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