Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

wood anemone

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A part of the buttercup family, Anemone nemorosa wood plants are typically found in woodland. You may even find these spring blooming flowers in your garden.

Continue reading this article to explore where you can see these flowers, common names, the site they’re typically exposed to, and more.


  • Scientific Name: Anemone nemorosa
  • Common Name/s: wood anemone, windflower
  • Family: Buttercup
  • Origin: native
  • Habitat: ancient woodland
  • Flowering Season: March to May

How to Identify Wood Anemone

This star-shaped plant is often confused with wood sorrel from a distance due to the similar distinctive pink veins and white petals. The petals are probably one of the first things you’ll notice. Most commonly, you can identify a wood anemone by its leaves that each displaying three visible lobes, as well as its long stalks. Their leaf is at the base of a plant, making them basal plants. Furthermore, it features white petals with a slight pink shade, although some species can have a yellow colour. On rare occasions, you might also find elements of blue on the plant.

Where to Find Wood Anemone

You can find wood anemone throughout various woodlands, hedgerows, and meadows across the UK. In particular, look for these flowers in ancient woodland, as this area best suits their slow growth.

When They Flower

In March, April, and May. Many of these flowers often cover wild woodland floors in early spring.

Planting Wood Anemone

Anemone flower growing on the forest floor

Wood anemone bulbs are incredibly versatile. Take your time with planting, and you’ll see them blossom on your lawn. It’s important to know that they require moist soil, so if you place them in a position where the sun can’t access them, it won’t be suitable.

When first planted, they will remain small, but they should become more attractive and bigger each year, displaying more and more flowers, so we recommend choosing a position in your garden where you can leave them undisturbed to grow.

Moreover, it is common to buy rhizomes that will arrive dry, packed in a bag, and vary in length from 5–10 cm.

Is Wood Anemone Poisonous?

Anemone nemorosa flowers are poisonous to humans. It’s safe for some animals to eat this flower because it does nothing bad except create an acrid taste.

Do Anemones Like Sun or Shade?

Anemone nemorosa prefers shade to full sun. However, you can also grow this plant in the sun or partial shade, but they blossom best in full sun.

How Do Wood Anemones Spread?

They spread by underground rhizomes, which can then multiply at a fast rate. This process can actually make the Anemone nemorosa very aggressive growers. Fortunately, the shallow roots make it easy to dig up the plant.

For the best results with maintaining them, plant your Anemone nemorosa in well-drained soil—preferably one of organic nature. This will help to create consistent moisture levels. Wood anemone is ephemeral, which means that they will die back in summer, and the plants will sleep. This can also typically happen if the soil is too dry. Therefore, it’s important to keep the soil moist, especially for fall bloomers. It will prevent drying from happening and will keep the leaves green.

What Are the Uses of Wood Anemone?

Various species of these white flowers have been known to cure headaches and rheumatic gout. It can also help with stomach pains, a delayed menstruation cycle, asthma, and whooping cough.

Despite these uses, there is very little information available about how to administer these white flowers. It would help if you took precautions when using them because it’s unsafe to take them orally or apply them to your skin. This is because it contains a chemical that interrupts the stomach and intestines functioning. Skin contact can commonly cause blisters and burns.

How to Kill These Garden Plants

You can easily remove these plants by digging them up along with the fibrous roots, which are also known as rhizomes. Alternatively, opt for a herbicide product with the main ingredient as glyphosate. This will kill the flower and prevent its return.

Do you have any interesting facts about wood anemones? If so, let us know in the comments.

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