The Anemone has been an especially favoured flower in poetics from various sources of considerable antiquity. Its legendary and traditional significance has furnished an abundance of material for the dear old "once upon a time" stories which every grandmother loves to tell to boys and girls. When we think of the many windy days that we have during the early spring and consider that the Anemone blooms at the same time, and that their delicate stems make it possible for them to nod and sway to and fro, this way and that, with every breath of the wind, it is quite easy for us to understand why they received the very appropriate name of Wind Flower. Anemos, the wind god of the ancient Greeks, utilized the Wind Flower to announce his presence and to mark his course in the spring. Pliny concluded that without the grace of Anemos, the Wind Flower would not open, and to this famous Roman naturalist we trace its Latin name. From other sources, we learn that the wind, after blowing through these flowers, was at one time supposed to cause disease. Greek poets tell us that the Anemone originated in the tears dropped by Venus while she was grieving in the forest over the tragic death of her sweetheart, Adonis. Again, we are told that the Romans believed that the Wind Flower possessed some mystic charm to ward off fever, and with this faith they sought the earliest flower of the year with more or less ceremony, and wore it attached to their clothing with much the same spirit probably as we of to-day seek and wear the four-leaf Clover. The Anemone is also an oriental dignitary, having some celestial significance among the Chinese, who make use of it in connection with their funeral rites, and it is referred to as the Death Flower. How times have changed! If any one dared to advance similar suppositions in the present era, they would, in all probability, be assailed with ridicule. Nevertheless, the Ancients, though lacking much definite botanical science, were undoubtedly sincere in their belief. The roots have some medicinal value, and one species furnishes a remedy for sore eyes. It is said that cattle which have fed on the Anemone have experienced poisonous symptoms therefrom. The Anemones follow closely upon the heels of the Hepaticas, Bloodroots, and Yellow Adder's Tongues in the floral contest for early blossoming in the springtime. They are commonly found in colonies along the margins of low woods, or in somewhat open places along hillsides where the soil is light and partially shaded, during April, May and June. They are often clustered near the base of old trees or stumps. The beautiful, delicate blossoms are faintly fragrant and measure an inch in diameter. Four to nine oval, petal-like sepals take the place of petals -they have no true petals - and in this respect they resemble the flowers of the Marsh Marigold. They are pure white or sometimes tinted with pink or blue. Numerous cream-tipped stamens are clustered about the many small, green pistils in the centre of the slightly cupped solitary flower which is borne on the tip of the single, round, green stem, some four or more inches high. The stem is smooth and slender, and is usually stained with purple toward the base. It grows at right angles from an elongated, fleshy, horizontal rootstock -a storehouse of energy, which has so much to do with the early flowering of the plant. The delicately textured, medium green compound leaves are gathered on short stems in a whorl of three or sometimes five about the flower stem, midway between the blossom and the ground. The leaves are divided into three or five paddle-shaped parts or lobes, each of which is noticeably creased by a midrib. The centre lobes are much larger than those on either side. Their edges are irregularly notched. One or more basal leaves appear after the flowering season, rising directly from the root stock on long, individual stems. The entire plant is perfectly balanced, delicate in structure and graceful and charming in appearance. It ranges from Nova Scotia to Georgia and westward to the Rocky Mountains.
The Tall Anemone, or Thimble-weed, A. virginiana, is a much larger species growing singly in woods and meadows throughout the same general range as the Wind Flower, and occurring perhaps farther north, during June, July and August. It grows from two to three feet tall and is stout and branching, and slightly hairy. The long-stemmed leaf is three-parted and the flower has five petal-like parts.