anemone

anemone

[uh-nem-uh-nee]
anemone or windflower, any of the perennial herbs, wild or cultivated, of the genus Anemone of the family Ranunculaceae (buttercup family). A rich legendary history has gained the anemone many names and attributes. It is said to have sprung from the blood of Adonis; Romans considered it valuable in preventing fever; it has been applied for bruises and freckles; for some it is tainted with evil; and by the Chinese it has been associated with death. The name windflower is accounted for in several ways, one of which is Pliny's statement that anemone blossoms are opened by the wind. Anemones contain an acrid compound called anemonin. It is poisonous but was formerly used medicinally. Best known of the wild kinds are the white- or purplish-flowered wood anemone (A. quinquefolia), sometimes known specifically as windflower, and the greenish-white-flowered tall anemone, or thimbleweed (A. virginiana), with thimble-shaped fruit. The most common cultivated kinds include the tall, autumn-flowering Japanese anemone (A. japonica) for gardens and the florists' poppy anemones (A. coronaria), native to the Mediterranean area. Similar to the anemone is the wild rue anemone of another buttercup-family genus (Anemonella or Syndesmon). The pasqueflower is sometimes included in Anemone. Anemones are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Ranunculales, family Ranunculaceae.

Sea anemone, Tealia

Any of more than 1,000 cnidarian species in the order Actiniaria, found from the tidal zone of all oceans to depths of more than 30,000 ft (10,000 m) and occasionally in brackish water. Species vary from less than 1 in. (3 cm) to about 5 ft (1.5 m) in diameter. The mouth, at the upper end of the cylindrical body, is surrounded by petal-like, usually colourful tentacles that bear stinging nematocysts for paralyzing prey such as fishes. Some species eat only microorganisms. Most species remain permanently attached to a hard surface such as a rock or the back of a crab.

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Any of about 120 species of perennial plants that make up the genus Anemone, in the buttercup family, many of which are cultivated for their colourful flowers. Though found throughout the world, anemones are most common in woodlands and meadows of the northern temperate zone. Many varieties of the tuberous poppylike anemone A. coronaria are grown for the garden and florist trade. Popular spring-flowering species include A. apennina, A. blanda, and A. pavonina. Other species, such as the Japanese anemone (A. hupehensis), are favourite border plants for autumn flowering. The European wood anemone, A. nemorosa, causes blistering of the skin and was once used as an ingredient in medicines. Anemones are also known colloquially as pasqueflowers or windflowers.

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Anemone (A-ne-mó-ne, from the Gr. Άνεμος, wind), is a genus of about 120 species of flowering plants in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae in the north and south temperate zones. They are closely related to Pasque flower (Pulsatilla) and Hepatica (Hepatica); some botanists include both of these genera within Anemone.

Description

Anemone are perennial herbs; plants which grow from rhizomes, caudices or tubers. Leaves grow from the base and can be simple, compound or attached with a leaf stalk. Terminal inflorescences with two to nine flowered cymes or umbels, or solitary flowers that depending on the species can be up to 60 centimeters tall. The flowers are bisexual and radially symmetric. The sepals are not persistent in fruit, and can be white, purple, blue, green, yellow, pink or red. Fruits are achenes.

Species list

There are approximately 150 species, including:

  • Anemone lithophila
  • Anemone magellanica
  • Anemone mexicana
  • Anemone multifida
  • Anemone narcissiflora — Narcissus Anemone
  • Anemone nemorosa — Wood Anemone
  • Anemone nikoensis
  • Anemone occidentalis - Western pasqueflower
  • Anemone oregana
  • Anemone parviflora
  • Anemone pavonina
  • Anemone petiolulosa
  • Anemone polyanthes
  • Anemone quinquefolia — Wood Anemone
  • Anemone raddeana
  • Anemone ranunculoides — Yellow Woodland Anemone
  • Anemone reflexa
  • Anemone richardsonii - Yellow Anemone
  • Anemone riparia
  • Anemone rivularis
  • Anemone rupicola
  • Anemone sibirica
  • Anemone sylvestris — Snowdrop Windflower
  • Anemone tetrasepala
  • Anemone thomsonii
  • Anemone tomentosa
  • Anemone trifolia
  • Anemone trullifolia
  • Anemone tschernjaewii
  • Anemone tuberosa
  • Anemone villosissima
  • Anemone virginiana
  • Anemone vitifolia
  • Anemone zephyra
  • Cultivation

    Many of the species are favourite garden plants; among the best known is Anemone coronaria, often called the poppy anemone, a tuberous-rooted plant, with parsley-like divided leaves, and large showy poppy-like blossoms on stalks of from 15–20 cm high; the flowers are of various colours, but the principal are scarlet, crimson, blue, purple and white. There are also double-flowered varieties, in which the stamens in the centre are replaced by a tuft of narrow petals. It is an old garden favourite, and of the double forms there are named varieties.

    They grow best in a loamy soil, enriched with well-rotted manure, which should be dug in below the tubers. These may be planted in October, and for succession in January, the autumn-planted ones being protected by a covering of leaves or short stable litter. They will flower in May and June, and when the leaves have ripened should be taken up into a dry room till planting time. They are easily raised from the seed, and a bed of the single varieties is a valuable addition to a flower-garden, as it affords, in a warm situation, an abundance of handsome and often brilliant spring flowers, almost as early as the snowdrop or crocus. Anemone thrives in partial shade, or in full sun provided they are shielded from the hottest sun in southern areas. A well-drained slightly acid soil, enriched with compost, is ideal.

    The genus contains many other spring-flowering plants, of which A. hortensis and A. fulgens have less divided leaves and splendid rosy-purple or scarlet flowers; they require similar treatment. Anemone hupehensis, and its white cultivar 'Honorine Joubert', the latter especially, are amongst the finest of autumn-flowering hardy perennials; they grow well in light soil, and reach 60–100 cm in height, blooming continually for several weeks. A group of dwarf species, represented by the native British A. nemorosa and A. apennina, are amongst the most beautiful of spring flowers for planting in woods and shady places.

    Anemone species are sometimes targeted by cutworms, the larvae of noctuid moths such as Angle Shades and Heart and Dart.

    History and symbolism

    The meaning of the anemone flower is "forsaken" and also "a dying hope". The flower Anemone could also be used to signify Anticipation.

    The Anemone coronaria ("כלנית" in Hebrew) is one of the most well known and beloved flowers in Israel. During the British Mandate of Palestine British soldiers were nicknamed "Kalaniyot" for their red berrets.

    The anemone is called the wind flower because it was believed that wind is what caused it to bloom.

    References

    External links

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