White,, or tinted with blue or pink.
Flowers: terminal; solitary. Calyx: of four to seven petal-like sepals. Corolla: none. Stamens: numerous. Pistils: numerous, forming a head. Leaves: from the base; three also on the flower stem, whorled below the flower and divided into three-toothed leaflets. Stem: delicate; slender.
It is said that the Greeks named their anemone wind-flower because it appeared at the windy season; but we would rather connect our lovely blossom with the pathetic grief of Venus over the body of the slain Adonis. As she approached Cyprus in her swan-drawn chariot she heard coming up through midair the groans of her beloved. She therefore turned back to the earth, alighted, and bent over his lifeless body. Overcome with grief she reproached the Fates and said:
"Theirs shall not be wholly a triumph; memorials of my grief shall endure, and the spectacle of your death, my Adonis, and of my lamentation shall be annually renewed. Your blood shall be changed into a flower; that consolation none can envy me."
She then sprinkled nectar on the blood and the flowers arose. The wind blows them open and then blows the petals away. So they are short lived; their coming and going being attributable to the wind.
"Wind-flowers we since these blossoms call, So very frail are they, Tear-drops from Venus's eye let fall, Our wood anemone."
The European species, A. pavonina and A. ranunculoides, are scarlet and purple respectively.
This is a very similar plant to the wind-flower and is often found growing beside it; especially when the chosen haunt is about the roots of an old tree. Its flowers are smaller and they grow in umbels at the end of the scape. The leaves are rounder and less divided. Although it is sometimes found of a rosy hue, its usual colour is white. Like the wind-flower it is very perishable.