WILD FLOWER OF THE MONTH
Wood Anemone –Anemone newmorosa
There is no lovelier sight in a leafless wood is carpets of white star-like flowers ushering in spring. Wood Anemone flowers are solitary on a slender stem above a whole of three divided, trifoliate leaves, with more stalked leaves below. The flowers have no petals but are formed by five or more hairy white sepals around a cluster of yellow stamens. Wood Anemones are often abundant in deciduous and mixed woodlands and under hedges, whenever the soil is not to acidic.
Wood Anemones’ are also called Wind Flowers , have a delicate sweet scent.
Wood anemone is susceptible to certain fungal infections. Puccinia causes the stalks of infected leaves to grow rapidly, high above its brethren, while the leaves dwindle and tend to lose their divisions. A species of Sclerotinia attacks the swollen tubers of the root. In the spring when the flowers would arise, fruiting bodies of sclerotinia rise in their place. Folk Names: Hexenblum (German), Kopfschmerzblum (German) Smell Fox, Wind Flower, Wind Crowfoot, Wood Crowfoot
Associated Deities: Adonis, Anemos/Eurus, Aphrodite/Venus,
The origin legend for wood anemone is the same as for all anemones.
“Where streams his blood there blushing springs a rose
And where a tear has dropped, a windflower blows.”
They sprang up from Aphrodite’s tears as she cried over Adonis’ death. Wood anemone is called the Flower of Death in China, and it was an emblem of ill health in ancient Egypt. Areas of Europe also associated the flower with misfortune, though other country-folk considered it a fairy hideaway mainly due to its habit of folding up for the night and in inclement weather. Whether the bad luck arose from fear of disturbing fairies or from the fact that the plant is poisonous and cattle have died from ingesting it is unclear.
The name Windflower comes from the belief that it will only open in the windy Month of March.
“Coy anemone that ne’er uncloses
Her lips until they’re blown on by the wind.”
And the Greeks believed the flower was a gift from the wind god Anemos (or Eurus), sent to herald his coming in spring.