Saturday, October 13, 2007

Wildflower or Weed?

Since the weather has cooled, unexpected wildflowers from last year's fall sowing have started to emerge, and a couple of new varieties that have popped up that weren't in the spring beds. I have no idea what any of them are. They could be weeds for all I know.

Several tiny plants with orange flowers have already bloomed. The five-petaled flowers are only 1/4 inch in diameter, with a magenta center. The leaves are also quite small. This macro photo is deceptive as to the size of these flowers and leaves. I’ve looked through Kirti Mathura's book “The Arizona Low Desert Flower Garden,” and can't find anything that even remotely resembles this flowering plant.

I'll soon be clearing out this planting area in preparation for sowing new seeds, so whether wildflower or weed, these little cuties will have to go.

"What is a weed?

A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."

~ Emerson

NOTE: Identified by Sara at Farming Friends as Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis). It's definitely a weed, and poisonous, but it has been used as a folk remedy for various ailments.


farmingfriends said...

I think this is scarlet pimpernel which is poisonous. You can tell if it is this because the leaves have black dots on the underneath.
Hope this helps.
Sara from farmingfriends

No Rain said...

Hi Sara,
Thanks so much! This is the info I've gathered on scarlet pimpernel.
Scientific Name: Anagallis arvensis
Common Name: Scarlet Pimpernel, Poor Man's Weather Glass
Plant Type: Herb, Annual, Biennial
Height: To 1 foot (30 cm) tall
The flowers predict the weather by closing before it rains. This European weed is found in irrigated and riparian areas.
So--now I know. It IS a weed!

farmingfriends said...

I am so pleased that I could help. Sara from farmingfriends

Barbara said...

In any case, it is a lovely little bloom as many other weeds are nice to look at too!
Regards from Switzerland, Barbara

kate said...

It is an attractive flower and has a wonderful name. I remember watching a film by this name many years ago.