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Bog Pimpernel

Anagallis tenella

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Primulaceae (Primrose)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
15 centimetres tall
Bogs, fens, fields, gardens, heathland, marshes, meadows, riverbanks, riversides, rocky places, sand dunes, wasteland, waterside, wetland.

Pink, 5 petals
The flowers of Bog Pimpernel, a charming wetland species native to Europe and Asia, exhibit a delicate yet captivating beauty. These diminutive blooms, adorned in hues spanning from delicate pastel pinks to vivid blues, grace the plant's slender stems with a subtle elegance. Each flower unfurls into a star-shaped form, showcasing five intricately veined petals that gently overlap, creating a picturesque contrast against the backdrop of lush green foliage. Despite their modest size, these blooms possess a magnetic allure, attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies with their nectar-rich offerings. Throughout late spring and mid-summer, these enchanting flowers serve as beacons of colour and vitality amidst the tranquil wetland habitats they call home.
The fruit of Bog Pimpernel, found in the damp and verdant landscapes of its native Europe and Asia, is a small, spherical capsule containing numerous tiny seeds. These capsules, often overlooked amidst the lush foliage of the plant, possess a subtle beauty of their own. Adorned with delicate veining and dappled with hints of verdant green, they mature as the seasons progress, eventually splitting open to release their precious cargo into the surrounding environment. While unassuming in appearance, these fruit capsules play a vital role in the plant's reproductive cycle, ensuring the dispersal of its genetic legacy across the wetland ecosystems it inhabits.
The leaves of Bog Pimpernel, an indigenous wetland species thriving throughout Europe and Asia, exhibit a distinctive charm and functionality. Adorning the plant's slender stems with their graceful presence, these foliage features are a testament to nature's ingenuity. Sporting lance-shaped forms, they elegantly taper to delicate points, presenting a verdant canvas for sunlight to dance upon. Resplendent in shades ranging from vibrant greens to subtle hints of crimson or purple, these leaves provide a striking contrast against the backdrop of their watery habitats. Arranged oppositely along the stem, they form a symmetrical pattern, enhancing the plant's visual appeal. Serving not only as aesthetic adornments but also as crucial sites for photosynthesis and moisture regulation, these leaves are integral components of Bog Pimpernel's ecological success. In harmony with their surroundings, they contribute to the delicate balance of life within the marshes, bogs, and wet meadows they call home.
The aroma of Bog Pimpernel, flourishing amidst the marshes, bogs, and wet meadows of its native Europe and Asia, is a delicate yet alluring essence that wafts gently through its watery habitats. As the plant basks in the sunlight and absorbs the moisture-laden air, it releases a subtle fragrance that evokes the tranquility of its surroundings. With hints of earthiness and freshness reminiscent of the damp soil and lush vegetation that envelop it, Bog Pimpernel's aroma adds a sensory dimension to the wetland experience. Intertwined with the sweet scents of nearby wildflowers and the subtle musk of decaying organic matter, it creates an olfactory tapestry that delights those who venture into its realm. While not overpowering, the fragrance of Bog Pimpernel serves as a gentle reminder of nature's intricate beauty and the delicate balance of life within these unique ecosystems.
Other Names:
Small Blue Pimpernel.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Anagallis tenella, commonly known as small blue pimpernel, is a species of annual or perennial herb in the Primulaceae family. It is native to Europe, North Africa and Asia, and can be found in habitats such as meadows, rocky areas, and waste ground. The plant has small, blue-green leaves and small, blue or purple flowers that grow in clusters. It typically grows as a low-lying groundcover and is often found in disturbed areas such as gardens, agricultural fields, and waste ground. The plant has a long history of use in traditional medicine to treat various ailments such as wounds and burns, but there is limited scientific evidence to support these uses.


Bog Pimpernel (Anagallis tenella) is a small, delicate flowering plant that belongs to the primrose family (Primulaceae). It is also commonly known as Bog Stitchwort, Grass of Parnassus or Blue Pimpernel. Bog Pimpernel is a native plant of Europe and Asia and is widely distributed in many parts of the world.

Bog Pimpernel is a small plant, growing up to only 15cm in height. It has thin, wiry stems that are usually red or green and small, ovate leaves that grow in pairs. The flowers are small, measuring only 6-7mm in diameter, with five bright blue petals and a yellow center. The flowers bloom from June to September and are pollinated by insects.

Bog Pimpernel prefers to grow in damp, acidic soils such as those found in bogs, wet meadows, and marshes. It can also grow in other wet habitats such as damp woodland, stream edges, and roadside ditches. The plant is often found in areas where the water table is close to the surface.

Bog Pimpernel has been used in traditional medicine for various purposes. The plant contains a range of chemical compounds, including flavonoids and triterpenoids, which have been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. The plant has been used to treat a variety of ailments such as skin disorders, wounds, and respiratory infections.

Bog Pimpernel is also used in horticulture and is grown as an ornamental plant in rock gardens, borders, and containers. It is a delicate plant that requires moist soil and partial shade to thrive. It is also important to ensure that the soil is not waterlogged as this can cause the plant to rot.

Despite its delicate appearance, Bog Pimpernel is a hardy plant that is well adapted to survive in wet and harsh environments. It is an important plant for the ecosystem, providing food and shelter for a range of insects and other wildlife.

Bog Pimpernel is a beautiful and versatile plant that is well suited to wet environments. Its bright blue flowers and delicate appearance make it a popular choice for horticulture, while its medicinal properties have been appreciated for centuries. As a native plant, Bog Pimpernel also plays an important role in supporting the biodiversity of wetland ecosystems.

Bog Pimpernel is a plant with a rich cultural history. In medieval times, it was believed that carrying a sprig of Bog Pimpernel would protect against evil spirits and witches. The plant was also used in love divination, with young women placing the flowers under their pillows to dream of their future husband.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Bog Pimpernel has also been used in dyeing. The plant contains a blue pigment that has been used to dye fabrics and yarns. The dye can be extracted from the plant by boiling the leaves and stems in water.

Bog Pimpernel is an important plant for conservation, particularly in wetland habitats. Wetlands are one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world, and many wetland species, including Bog Pimpernel, are at risk of extinction. Conservation efforts to protect and restore wetland habitats are crucial to ensuring the survival of these important plants and the wildlife that depends on them.

In some parts of the world, Bog Pimpernel is considered a weed, as it can grow aggressively in certain conditions. However, in its native habitat, Bog Pimpernel is an important and valuable part of the ecosystem, providing food and shelter for a range of insects, birds, and other wildlife.

Bog Pimpernel is also an interesting plant in terms of its reproductive strategy. It is a self-fertile plant, meaning that it can produce seeds without the need for pollination from another plant. This allows it to reproduce even in isolated or small populations.

Bog Pimpernel has also been the subject of scientific research. One study found that the plant produces chemicals that can inhibit the growth of other plants, which may give it a competitive advantage in its native habitat. Another study found that the plant produces a compound that is toxic to certain insects, providing it with natural pest control.

As with many plant species, climate change is a concern for Bog Pimpernel. Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns can affect the plant's ability to grow and reproduce, and can also alter the timing of flowering, which can impact pollination and seed production.

Bog Pimpernel is also a great plant for those interested in gardening or wildflower meadows. It can be grown from seed and can add a splash of blue to a wet, shady garden. However, it's important to note that Bog Pimpernel is not suitable for all gardens, and should only be planted in appropriate wetland or damp environments.

Bog Pimpernel is also sometimes used as a herbal tea. The leaves and flowers of the plant can be dried and infused in hot water to create a tea with a mild, floral flavor. The tea is believed to have a calming effect and is sometimes used to alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Bog Pimpernel is not without its threats, however. Wetland habitats are under threat from development, drainage, and other human activities, which can lead to the loss of important wetland species like Bog Pimpernel. Invasive species can also be a problem, as non-native plants can outcompete and displace native species.

Conservation efforts are important to protect and restore wetland habitats and the species that depend on them, including Bog Pimpernel. These efforts can include habitat restoration, the control of invasive species, and the establishment of protected areas.

In conclusion, Bog Pimpernel is a fascinating and important plant with many unique qualities. Its delicate appearance and valuable ecological and cultural roles make it an interesting subject for study and conservation. By understanding and appreciating the value of wetland species like Bog Pimpernel, we can work to protect and conserve these important species for future generations.

30 Bog Pimpernel Facts

  1. Bog Pimpernel (Anagallis tenella) is a flowering plant species in the family Primulaceae.
  2. It is also known as the Bog Starwort or Slender Pimpernel.
  3. Bog Pimpernel is native to Europe and Asia.
  4. The plant typically grows in damp or wet habitats such as marshes, bogs, wet meadows, and stream banks.
  5. It is a low-growing perennial herb, often reaching only a few centimeters in height.
  6. Bog Pimpernel has slender stems with small, lance-shaped leaves arranged oppositely along the stem.
  7. The leaves are usually green but can sometimes have reddish or purplish tinges.
  8. The flowers of Bog Pimpernel are small, star-shaped, and can range in color from pale pink to bright blue.
  9. Each flower has five petals with prominent darker veins.
  10. Bog Pimpernel typically blooms from late spring to mid-summer.
  11. The flowers open during the day and close at night or during cloudy weather.
  12. The plant is pollinated by insects, particularly bees and butterflies.
  13. Bog Pimpernel produces small, spherical capsules containing numerous tiny seeds.
  14. It can reproduce both by seed and vegetatively through rhizomes.
  15. Bog Pimpernel is often found growing alongside other wetland plants such as sedges, rushes, and marsh marigolds.
  16. In some regions, Bog Pimpernel is considered an indicator species for wetland habitats' health.
  17. The plant has been used in traditional herbal medicine for various purposes, including treating skin conditions and digestive issues.
  18. However, caution should be exercised when using it medicinally, as some parts of the plant can be toxic if ingested in large quantities.
  19. Bog Pimpernel is also sometimes cultivated as an ornamental plant in water gardens or bog gardens.
  20. In the wild, it plays a role in stabilizing wetland ecosystems and providing habitat and food for various wildlife species.
  21. The species name "tenella" means "slender" in Latin, referring to the plant's delicate appearance.
  22. Bog Pimpernel is adapted to survive in nutrient-poor, acidic soils commonly found in wetland environments.
  23. It has a shallow root system that helps it absorb water efficiently from the soil.
  24. Bog Pimpernel is relatively tolerant of waterlogging and can withstand temporary periods of inundation.
  25. In some areas, Bog Pimpernel populations may be threatened by habitat loss due to drainage, land development, and pollution.
  26. Conservation efforts may include habitat restoration and protection of remaining wetland areas.
  27. Bog Pimpernel is sometimes confused with other similar-looking species, such as Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), which typically grows in drier habitats.
  28. The plant's small size and inconspicuous flowers make it easy to overlook in its natural habitat.
  29. Bog Pimpernel's delicate beauty and adaptability to wetland conditions make it a valuable component of biodiversity in these ecosystems.
  30. Studying Bog Pimpernel and its interactions with its environment can provide insights into wetland ecology and conservation strategies.


Bog Pimpernel filmed at Loughrigg Fell in the Lake District on the 17th June 2023.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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