Scarlet Pimpernel

Anagallis arvensis
Family: Primulaceae

Growth Habit: A sprawling plant growing up to 600mm wide, and 200mm high. Commonly found on bare ground and readily identified by its many bright orange, or occasionally deep blue, flowers. Stems are square in cross section and carry oval shaped leaves.

Type of Plant: Scarlet pimpernel is an annual herb capable of producing seeds within a week of germination.


Flowers: The scarlet pimpernel flower has 5 petals and is usually bright orange in colour, although occasionally it is deep blue to purple.

Fruit/Seed: A smooth round capsule containing several small seeds.

Dispersal: Seed falls from the parent plant and may be moved short distances by wind and water, and with any soil movement. Seed germinates from spring through to autumn.

Distribution: Occasionally scarlet pimpernel occurs in arable crops, but usually it is found in waste areas and gardens.

Status: Undeclared in Tasmania

Weed Impact:

  • The plant has minimal economic impact, however it is suspected of causing some stock poisoning.
  • It can quickly colonise any bare areas of soil.

For further information contact the Department of Primary Industry, Water and Environment, Tasmania.

Control Methods:

  • Mulching is good for small infestations such as home gardens.
  • Herbicides registered in Tasmania include dicamba, MCPA and glyphosate.

N.B. Always check the herbicide label before use.