British Wild Flowers: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Many of you will have heard of the book by Alexander, Dumas, The Scarlet Pimpernel. This story told of a British aristocrat who rescued French aristocrats in the Revolution. He got his name because he took as his emblem a simple, small red flower.

This flower is also known as Poor Man’s Weathervane, or, according to the Wildlife Trust, Old Man’s Weathervane, or Shepherd’s Weathervane, but where I come from originally, it was Poor Man’s Weathervane!

This simple little flower got its name because it closes its petals when the pressure falls, and bad weather is on the way.

It is a pretty little flower that was once a weed of cereal crops, is now in decline because of the way farmers now farm the land, spraying crops with herbicides to maximise their yield. It is now found mainly in gardens and roadside banks, and other waste ground.

It is easily overlooked because of its small size, which is a pity, because it’s a pretty little flower.

The picture, which I got from Pixabay, makes it look larger than it is in real life. The flowers are only about 1 cm across. I think it’s a lovely little flower and I hope it doesn’t decline further.

I have one small plant in my garden that comes back each year, and I hope it stays. I don’t think of it as a weed, because a weed is a plant growing where you don’t want it, and I want this wild, little beauty.

Do you have a favourite wild flower? If so, what is it? Where does it grow?

Please leave your comments and answers in the comments box.

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Maria and Tom have bought an antique table for the old cottage they have bought. When they hear strange noises in the night that sound like crying, they worry their house is haunted, but the sounds seem to come from the table.

They set about trying to find what is causing the disturbances. The answer is stranger than either of them had thought.

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