Anagallis arvensis. N.O. Primulaceae.
Synonym ► Poor Man’s Weatherglass, Shepherd’s Barometer (these names because the flowers close some hours before rain). Red Pimpernel.
Habitat ► Cornfields, waste places and in gardens.
Features ► Stem square, weak, much branched, trailing with tendency to ascend, between six inches and one foot long. Leaves small, opposite, ovoid, sessile, entire at edges, black dots underneath. Flowers scarlet, corolla rotate, on long, slender, axillary stalk.
Part used ► Leaves.
Action ► Diuretic, hepatic, diaphoretic.
The properties of this herb, although very active, are not yet fully known, and care should be exercised in using it. It has been successful in the treatment of liver irregularities, forms of rheumatism and dropsy. The pulverised leaves are administered in doses of from 15 to 60 grains.