Open the Advanced Search

Wood Anemone

Anemone nemorosa

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Hedgerows, woodland.

White, 6 petals
White, often tinged with pink, 5-10 sepals (the white petals are actually sepals).
One-sided winged nuts called achenes, containing the seeds. Wind pollinated.
Simple, deeply cut leaves with a red stem.
The leaves smell musky, hence one of its common names 'smell Fox'.
Other Names:
European Thimbleweed, Grandmonther's Nightcap, Grove Anemone, Lady's Nightcap, Mayflower, Moggie Nightgown, Moonflower, Nightcaps, Old Woman's Nest, Smell Fox, Windflower, Wood Crowfoot.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Anemone nemorosa, also known as wood anemone or windflower, is a perennial plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It belongs to the buttercup family and is known for its small, white or pink flowers and divided, hairy leaves. Anemone nemorosa is a low-growing plant that spreads quickly and is often used as a groundcover in gardens. It is easy to grow and is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and climates. Anemone nemorosa prefers partial shade to full sun and is drought-tolerant once established. The plant is generally hardy and low maintenance, but it can be prone to pests such as slugs and snails. Anemone nemorosa is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments. However, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and to determine the safety and effectiveness of using it medicinally.


The Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) is a small, delicate wildflower that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a perennial plant that typically blooms in the spring, with white or pink flowers that have a yellow center. The plant is also known as the Windflower, as its name "anemone" is derived from the Greek word for "wind," which refers to the way the flowers seem to dance in the breeze.

The Wood Anemone is typically found in deciduous woodlands and along shaded streams or rivers. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and dappled sunlight, and can be found growing in colonies. The plant has a low-growing habit, with leaves that are dark green and deeply lobed. The flowers are held on thin, wiry stems that can reach up to 12 inches tall.

The Wood Anemone is a popular choice for naturalistic gardens and wildflower meadows, as it is easy to grow and requires minimal care. It can be propagated by dividing the root clumps in the fall or by seed. Once established, the plants will spread and form large colonies. They are also a good source of nectar for early-season pollinators like bees and butterflies.

In addition to its beauty, the Wood Anemone has a rich history and folklore associated with it. In ancient Greece, the anemone was associated with the goddess Aphrodite and was said to have sprung from the tears of her lover, Adonis. In medieval times, it was believed to have healing properties and was used to treat a variety of ailments.

Overall, the Wood Anemone is a lovely and hardy wildflower that adds a touch of spring beauty to any garden or natural area. Its delicate flowers, easy care, and cultural significance make it a great addition to any landscape.

In addition to its ornamental value, the Wood Anemone is also an important plant for wildlife. The nectar-rich flowers are a valuable source of food for early-season pollinators such as bees and butterflies, and the leaves and stems provide food for the caterpillars of several species of moths and butterflies. The plant is also an important food source for deer, which will browse on the leaves and stems.

The Wood Anemone is also an indicator species for healthy woodlands, and its presence can indicate a well-functioning ecosystem. It is considered a "pioneer species" that can colonize disturbed areas and help to establish a healthy understory in woodlands.

Despite its delicate appearance, the Wood Anemone is a tough and hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. It is drought-tolerant and can grow in partial shade or full sun. It is also tolerant of a wide range of soils, as long as they are well-drained.

It's also worth mentioning that the Wood Anemone is not only a beautiful and ecologically valuable plant, but it is also easy to incorporate into a variety of garden styles. Its delicate flowers and low-growing habit make it a great choice for naturalistic gardens, wildflower meadows, and woodland gardens. It can also be used as a groundcover in more formal gardens and can be mixed with other spring-blooming bulbs like crocuses and daffodils for a colorful display.

In addition, Wood Anemone can be planted in rock gardens, along shaded pathways, in shady corners of lawns, or along the edges of woodlands, The plants can be grown in a container as well. They are also suitable for a woodland garden, rock garden, mixed border, or wildflower meadow.

It's also important to note that the Wood Anemone is a non-invasive plant, and it won't take over your garden or natural area. It will spread over time, but it is not aggressive, so it's easy to control its size.

In summary, Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) is a small, delicate wildflower that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a perennial plant that typically blooms in the spring, with white or pink flowers that have a yellow center. It's easy to grow, doesn't require much maintenance, and can be used in a variety of garden styles, from naturalistic to formal. It also has ecological and cultural significance, making it a valuable addition to any landscape.


In fields and meadows, wild and free
There blooms a flower, so light and wee
Its petals dance in the gentle breeze
A sight to behold, a wondrous tease

Anemones they're called, a name so grand
But these wildflowers are delicate, yet they stand
With stems so thin, yet they never wilt
Against the sun's heat, they stand on stilts

Their colors range from white to red
Like flames that burn, or snow that's spread
They bloom in spring, a sight to see
A vibrant splash of color, pure ecstasy

Their beauty hides a secret, though
For anemones are not just for show
They're home to bees and butterflies
And other insects, that hover and rise

So if you see a wild anemone
Pause a while, and let it be
For it's not just a pretty sight
But a home for creatures, that take flight

Let's cherish these wildflowers, so grand
And protect them, across the land
For anemones, they're more than just a name
They're a part of nature, that we should claim


Wood Anemone's filmed at Standish, near Wigan (UK), on the 15th April 2022.


Please remember to Like and Subscribe to the WildFlowerWeb YouTube channel at

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map