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The wood anemone is a native of North America. They appear in a wetland or near the edge of a stream. They live in colonies that create space for other species to thrive. The wood anemone lives in zig-zag shaped clusters of stems. It can grow 2 to 3 feet in diameter. These small flowers receive their name from the small stamens that stand upright around the bases of its white flowers. It is also known to sometimes host yellow flowers.The Wood anemone is a pretty spring flower of ancient woodlands, and is also planted in graveyards, parks and gardens. Its white flowers bloom between March and May, before the canopy becomes too dense, but its seeds are mostly infertile and it spreads slowly through the growth of its roots.
Could be confused with: wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) at a distance. Though the plants are similar, wood sorrel has distinctive pink veins in its white petals and the leaves are different in shape, with a rounded, heart-shaped appearance compared to the deeply lobed leaves of the wood anemone.Colonies of wood anemones with purple or purple-streaked petals are frequent e.g. in Norfolk, but the sky-blue type (var. caerulea) is much rarer or possibly lost. It was a favourite of William Robinson, the 19th century pioneer of 'wild gardening' who carefully distinguished it from the occasionally naturalised European blue anemone.The daisy-like flowers of wood anemone open to the day, expanding their petals in the sun. Rain, heavy cloud, or nightfall cause them to shut up shop again. In the wild, wood anemone grows as a monoculture under hedgerows and in woodland but it can also be seen making a natural, perfect combination with pale lilac cuckoo flower or creamy yellow wild daffodils on road verges.
When not flowering it can be recognized by the basal leaves, nearly round in outline, with 3 hairy, nearly stalkless leaflets, the lateral leaflets often deeply cleft. There are 2 recognized varieties: var. minima has a limited range in NC, TN, VA, WV; var. quniquefolia ranges from Nova Scotia to southern Manitoba and south to Alabama, and is found in Minnesota.Often opening pinkish-mauve colour and gradually turnbrilliant white, the flowers each have six or seven tepals (petals and sepals), but exceptionally they can have up to ten. These flowers,stand out particularly well in springtime, because the main leaves do not appear until after blooming is completed. Wood anemones propagate mainly by means of creeping underground rhizomes.Although it has largely fallen out of popular use, in the past Anemone nemorosa was used by herbalists in remedies for a range of ailments from mere headaches through to leprosy! (We strongly advise against eating or using as medicines any plants without first obtaining professional advice.) (Source: www.first-nature.com)