A very common low-growing annual of disturbed, often moist places, especially near the coast.  Stems are 4-sided. Caspers Wilderness Park, San Juan Capistrano, CA. 5-13-06. © Joan Avise.

Scarlet Pimpernel

Anagallis arvensis

Exotic from Europe, naturalized in North America.  Sometimes called Poor-man's weather-glass or Shepherd's clock because the flowers open only when the sun is shining.

Myrsinaceae

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4-10 in. high. Caspers Wilderness Park, San Juan Capistrano, CA. 5-13-06. © Joan Avise.


Flower color is commonly orange, but may also be whitish, red or blue. Bommer Canyon, East Fork Trail, Irvine, CA. 4-23-11. © Joan Avise.


Yellow anthers, scarlet stamen, pistils and petal base. UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA.5-14-10. © Joan Avise.


Stamens in this group arise from the base of the petal rather than between petals as in most flowers. UCI Ecological Preserve, Irvine, CA. 5-14-10. © Joan Avise.

Plant with both orange and whitish petals Bommer Canyon, East Fork Trail, Irvine, CA. 4-23-11. © Joan Avise.