Anemone nemorosa, The Wood Anemone

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)Greek legend has it that Anemos (The God of Wind) sent Anemones in the springtime to tell of his coming. An old name for this flower is Windflower, Pliny the Elder (Roman author of Naturalis Historia) wrote that “The flowers do not open unless the wind blows.” He was wrong. The flowers do not open unless the sun shines.

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)   Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)   Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)The Wood Anemone is an early spring flower. It usually flowers in March and lasts until the Bluebells are ready to flower in April.

The little wood that I used to own was both a Bluebell wood and an Anemone wood. The flowers grew through each other and in March the forest floor was white with little to show of the Bluebell display that was soon to follow.

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)The Wood Anemone is an animated flower, it closes at night.

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)It opens in the morning when it feels the warmth and then it twists and turns throughout the day to follow the sun. It is a wonderful thing to spend a day in such a wood watching the movement of the flowers.

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)The flower has no petals, it generally has six or seven, white sepals but sometimes as many as ten. It has multiple stamens.

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)The leaves are divided into three deeply lobed and toothed leaflets.

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)Nectar: You will read on a lot of web sites that the Wood Anemone does not produce nectar when in fact it does. The reason for this confusion is simply because it was only proven in 2013 when scientists published a paper in the Journal, “Organisms Diversity and Evolution” (September 2013) They observed the Large Bee Fly (Bombylius major) nectaring on Anemone nemorosa and discovered the the flower does indeed have nectaries deep within the corolla. The large Bee Fly has a very long tongue.

Many websites will not have updated that information and so confusion reigns on the internet, as always. Anyway nothing has changed if you have a short tongue.

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)Pollination and seed production are not essential to the Wood Anemone, in fact, I read that most of the seed produced is sterile. The plant spreads from it’s roots (rhizomes). Unlike the Bluebell it can spread very rapidly to colonise a wood.

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)   Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)   Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)Taxonomy:

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Ranunculales

Family: Ranunculaceae

Genus: Anemone

Species: Anemone nemorosa

Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)Back to White Wildflowers

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