When I think of the Scarlet Pimpernel, I think of the French Revolution. I think of secret societies, and of intrigue. I think of old movies and Leslie Howard. Oh yeah, and there’s that flower… important in the story because the hero signs his notes not with a name, but with an image, a flower: a Scarlet Pimpernel.
I never thought to look for the flower. It never occurred to me that it might grow around here – or even on this continent. Then, after seeing tiny reddish-orange flowers in the paths at Reinstein Woods and discovering (via my Flickr friends) that they were Scarlet Pimpernels… and looking them up in my various field guides and reading how “widespread” they are and that they bloom from June through August along roadsides in sandy soil, in “wasteplaces” (like lots of our summer aliens)… well, I just began to wonder how I could have lived to be more than a half-century old and never see this flower?
OK, in my defense… it is only 1/4″ wide. And it grows in sunny places – and only opens on sunny days… (and if you know me at all you know that from June to August – you’ll find me in the shade… I only venture out on cloudy / rainy days!)
Still, now that I’ve seen them… I’ll be braving the sun to look for more.