Blue Pimpernel
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Blue Pimpernel
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Blue Pimpernel • Hindi: नील Neel, Dharti Dhak, Krishnaneel • Marathi: रान द्राक्ष Ran draksh • Malayalam: Bellichina • Kannada: Suryakanti soppu
Botanical name: Lysimachia loeflingii    Family: Primulaceae (Primrose family)
Synonyms: Lysimachia arvensis var. caerulea, Anagallis caerulea L.

Blue Pimpernel grows on the roadside in waste places and on the dry sandy edges of corn and other fields; it is widely distributed throughout the world, being found in all the temperate regions in both hemispheres. Its creeping, square stems, a foot in length at most, have their eggshaped, stalkless leaves arranged in pairs. The edges of the leaves are entire (i.e. quite free from indentations of any sort), and in whatever direction the stem may run, either along the ground, or at an angle to it, the leaves always keep their faces turned to the light. A choice plant for hanging baskets and patio containers, where the intensely deep blue flowers can be fully appreciated. As the alternative names of shepherd’s sundial and shepherd’s weather-glass suggest, blue pimpernel is well-known for its ability to indicate both the weather and the time of day. The small, bright blue flowers open at around 8 am each day, and close at 3 pm. They also close during humid or damp weather. As the petals are only brilliantly coloured on their upper faces, the flowers when closed disappear from view among the greenness of the leaves.

Identification credit: Shaista Ahmad Photographed in Millenium Park, Delhi.

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