This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The plant is called Darn-grass in Scotland because it is said to give rise to a disease called Darn or black water, causing dysentery among cattle, a notion also held in Sweden.
Their fragile blossoms were said to give shelter to fairies in wet weather, closing up. In Greece Anemones were used as garlands. The Chinese planted them over their graves.
" The winds forbid the flowers to flourish long, Which owe to winds their name in Grecian song."
This is in allusion to their brief flowering period. The Wind Flower was held sacred to Venus. In some countries people have an aversion to them, the air being- said to be tainted with them, those inhaling it being said to be sick on this account.
The species of Anemone are all acrid. The Pasque Flower, an allied species, was till recently retained in the Pharmacopoeia, but it has no such remedies as described by Gerarde and Culpeper. It is usually sold by weight, the roots, like ginger, being employed. It was held by the older writers to be injurious to cattle. A species in Kamschatka was utilized to poison the tips of arrows, the juice being applied proving fatal.
Essential Specific Characters: 3. Anemone nemorosa, L. - Sepals 4-20, petaloid, involucre of three leaves or bracts, carpels tipped with persistent styles, keeled, rootstock creeping, achenes downy.