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.
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.
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.
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.