Scarlet Pimpernel [Anagallis arvensis]

Introduction: Scarlet Pimpernel is a familiar annual weed often mistaken for Common Chickweed until it blooms. This weed, while prevalent across various soil conditions, has distinguishing features that set it apart from other common lawn weeds.

Description: The leaves of the Scarlet Pimpernel are light green, typically egg-shaped or oval, and they tend to form in pairs at regular intervals along the stems. When it comes to its blossoms, they truly stand out. The flowers bloom from June to September, boasting a vibrant orangey-red hue with five distinctive petals. Its appearance, particularly when not in bloom, can be deceiving, leading many to misidentify it.

Control Measures:

  1. Hand Weeding: For lawns with only a few Scarlet Pimpernel plants, hand weeding can be an effective solution. It’s essential to ensure the entire plant, including the roots, is removed to prevent regrowth.
  2. Chemical Control: If the infestation has spread across a larger area, a chemical approach might be more appropriate. Opt for a selective weed killer that contains components like 2,4-D, Mecoprop, and Dicamba for optimal results against Scarlet Pimpernel. Given the tenacity of this weed, a follow-up application about six weeks after the initial treatment might be necessary for comprehensive control.
  3. Lawn Rehabilitation: After eradicating the Scarlet Pimpernel, there might be noticeable bare spots in the lawn. To rejuvenate these areas, fill them with a mix of appropriate soil and grass seed. This not only aids in the lawn’s recovery but also prevents the weed from making a comeback by occupying the vacant spots.

Conclusion: While Scarlet Pimpernel can be a persistent adversary, understanding its characteristics and having a strategic control plan can help maintain a lush, weed-free lawn. For more insights and specific herbicide recommendations, consider checking out the Lawn Weeds page.

John Storm

Oliver Thompson
Lawn Care Expert

About Oliver: Oliver Thompson, a seasoned lawn care expert from the Cotswolds with over two decades of experience, invites all enthusiasts to join him in exploring the world of lawns, sharing knowledge, and fostering a vibrant community of lawn enthusiasts. More info

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