Common Australian Garden Weeds

Anagallis arvensis

Scientific name: Anagallis arvensis L.

Orange-red flowered form of Anagallis arvensis (scarlet pimpernel) showing opposite and hairless leaves.

Close-up of the flowers of scarlet pimpernel showing five dark orange petals and five yellow stamens.

Quadrangular stems and fleshy fruits of pimpernel.

Young pimpernel plant.

Common names: Pimpernel, scarlet pimpernel, blue pimpernel

Family: Primulaceae


Native of Europe.


Annual herbaceous creeper with procumbent habit.


A common and widespread weed of tended areas, often in gardens and parks.

General description:

Stems and leaves

Stems never become wiry, tending to remain soft and green. They are quadrangular (ie. 4- angled). The leaves (5-20 x 3-10 mm in size) are sessile ( attached without a stalk), paired (oppositely arranged) and egg-shaped ( ovate). They are also hairless (glabrous) and have an entire margin.

Flowers and fruit

Orange, red or blue flowers are borne on long stalks. The flowers have five round petals fused at the base and five yellow stamens. Flowering occurs mainly during spring and summer. The fruit are capsules ( 3-5 mm in size) that open by a transverse line, like a lid.

Distinguishing characteristics:

Low-growing annual herb with soft green leaves, 4-angled stems, and colourful five petalled flowers.

Noxious status:

Not noxious.


Kleinschmidt, H.E., Holland, A. and Simpson, P. (1996). Suburban Weeds. 3rd Edition. Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane.

Stanley, T.E. and Ross, E.M. (1983-1989). Flora of South-eastern Queensland. Volume 2. Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane.