Anemone nemorosa (NL: Bosanemoon / EN: Wood anemone, windflower, thimbleweed, smell fox / DE: Buschwindröschen, Hexenblume, Geissenblümchen / FR: Anémone sylvie, Anémone des bois) is one of the first flowers to open in early-spring. It flowers so early in the year because the trees are still bare. When the foliage of the trees will shade the forest floor, the plant is nearing the end of its growth cycle. The plants start blooming soon after its foliage emerges from the ground. The leaves are divided into three segments and the flowers, produced on short (10-25 cm) stems, are held above the foliage with one flower per stem. They grow from underground root-like stems called rhizomes and the foliage dies back down by mid summer. The rhizomes spread just below the soil surface, forming long spreading clumps that grow quickly, contributing to its rapid spread in woodland conditions, where they often carpet large areas. The flower is 2 cm diameter, with six or seven petal-like segments (actually tepals) with many stamens. In the wild the flowers are usually white, but may be pinkish, lilac, blue or yellow and often have a darker tint to the back of the 'petals'. The plant contains poisonous chemicals (protoanemonin) that are toxic to animals including humans, but it has also been used as a medicine.
Image: Ranst (BE) - 02/04/2013
© Johan Dierckx
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