Anagallis arvensis L.
CC = *
CW = 5
MOC = 41
Family - Primulaceae
Habit - Annual forb with fibrous roots.
Stems - Spreading, branched at base, to 30 cm, branching, 4-angled, glabrous, sometimes rooting at the nodes.
Leaves - Opposite, entire, sessile, ovate, to 1.6 cm long, 1.0 cm broad, clasping or not, with brown speckles below, glabrous, margins somewhat tuberculate.
Inflorescence - Solitary flowers from leaf axils. Peduncles to 2 cm, glabrous, recurved in fruit.
Flowers - Calyces of 5 free sepals, 3-4 mm long, the margins membranous. Corollas deeply 5-lobed, 3-5 mm long, saucer-shaped, the lobes obovate, usually orange-red, less commonly white or blue, the margins with inconspicuous stalked glands or minutely toothed. Stamens 5, the filaments attached at the corolla base, hairy, purple toward the tip, the anthers yellow. Ovary globose, with numerous ovules, the single style 1.5-2.0 mm long, slender.
Fruits - Globose capsules, 3-4 mm long, golden brown, membranous, with circumscissile dehiscence. Seeds numerous, angular, the surface tuberculate, dark brown.
Flowering - May - September.
Habitat - Roadsides, pastures, waste ground, disturbed sites. Typically in moist soil.
Origin - Native to Eurasia.
Lookalikes - None.
Other info. - This pretty little plant can be found in scattered locations throughout much of Missouri, though it is not particularly common. It is easy to identify because of its sessile, opposite leaves, orange-red flowers, and globose fruits. The flowers look like nothing else which grows wild in the state. The fruits of this species are globose, circumscissile capsules which contain many tiny seeds. The plant can form mats, since it sometimes roots at nodes.
Photographs taken off Highway 64, outside of St, Louis, MO., 8-7-05 (DETenaglia); also adjacent to I-57 in Iroquois County, IL, and at the Whiskey Creek Sheep Farm, near Krakow, Franklin County, MO, 6-3-2021 (SRTurner).