Bog Pimpernel

Bog Pimpernel

Bog Pimpernel - Anagallis tenella

A delicate plant (5-15 cm) with slender creeping stems, rooting at the nodes. The minute leaves (3-6 mm) are opposite, oval and membranous.

The flowers, pale pink and veined with purple, grow from the leaf axis on erect stalks about a centimetre and a half long.

This graceful plant lives in wet meadows and Sphagnum bogs where, if conditions are right, it can form thick carpets. It flowers from May to August. Anagallis tenella is a species adapted to a colder and wetter climate than the Italian one, for example it is easy to find in Ireland.

Botanists believe that it reached Italy during the intervals between one ice age and another and consider it to be a relict of the Atlantic climate. Until a few years ago it could be found in suitable natural habitats in much of northern Italy (excluding Emilia) and in Tuscany.

Following the destruction of its habitat, it has disappeared almost everywhere or at least is extremely rare. Lake Sibolla is the southern limit of its distribution.