A group of creeping perennials and annuals that are ideal for the rock garden or as edging plants and container specimens. Flowers throughout most of the summer.

Family: (Primrose family)
Botanical Name: Anagallis
Common Names: Pimpernel

Foliage: Evergreen.

Flowers: Tiny pink, red, blue or white five petalled flowers.

The red form of A. arvensis is best known as the "Scarlet Pimpernel" of historical fiction.

Flowering Period: Summer to early Autumn.

Soil: Fertile well-drained soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.

Conditions: Full sun. Requires a south, east or west facing aspect, in either an exposed or sheltered location.

Habit: Spreading, low growing.

Type: Evergreen perennial.

Origin: Naturalised almost worldwide.

Hardiness: A. tennela and arvensis are hardy in most regions of the UK. A. linifolia is not fully hardy and needs frost protection.

Planting and Growing Anagallis

Most forms are easy to grow if planted in an open sunny site.

Suitable for rock gardens, scree or gravel beds, wall crevices and alpine troughs. It is also happy tumbling over the front of a well drained border or in a hanging basket.

Taking Care of Anagallis

Water regularly until fully established. Dislikes cold, wet conditions so pot grown specimens are best over wintered in cold greenhouse.

Anagallis can be short lived, so lift and divide overcrowded clumps in the spring to maintain plant vigour.

Pruning Anagallis

Cut back after flowering.

Pests and Diseases

Generally disease free. Can be affected by Aphids.

Propagating Anagallis

Divide A. tenella in the spring, or take soft tip cuttings in the spring or early summer.

Seeds of A. linifolia can be sown indoors in a light sandy compost. Harden off before planting out in late spring once all danger for frost has passed.

Popular Varieties of Anagallis Grown in the UK

Anagallis arvensis (scarlet pimpernel) is a mat forming perennial that flowers well all summer.

Anagallis 'Skylover' (blue pimpernel) is a low growing perennial with a branching habit. Height 10in (25cm), spread 16in (40cm). Available at Thompson & Morgan.

Anagallis tenella (bog pimpernel) is a hardy perennial that prefers a moist soil. Forms a spreading mat of green foliage topped with delicate, bell-shaped, fragrant flowers in summer. Ideal for boggy conditions. Available at Thompson & Morgan.

Anagallis linifolia has bright blue flowers. Height to 12in (30cm).

Anagallis monellii is a mat forming perennial with trailing stems and deep blue flowers.