Small, intimate, and perfect it stands a1 the foot of an old tree, a wood anemone in a sandy forest of northern Illinois. Here is the compact, exquisite charm of a small spring Sower, efficient in the few leaves it produces, complete and brief in its flowering.
Anemone quinquefolia L.
April. Northern woods.
It is a low plant, seldom over six inches high and usually less. It has thin, wiry stems at the top of which is a whorl of three compound, grey-green leaves which are lobed and toothed, and stand ou1 in a triangular pattern below the flower rising in the middle. The flower is five-petaled with a delicate pale yellow cluster of stamens to se1 off the center.
Wood anemones are not common in Illinois. They belong further north and east. Our common anemones are the false rue anemone, the rue, the prairie, the tall, and the thimble anemones. 'The little wood anemone, therefore, is an uncommon creature to find. It is most fre-quentlj found in sandy woods and in dune forests near Lake Michigan. This is the flower about which so many poets have written. These are the blossoms of Anemos, the Wind, who sends them as his heralds when the blasts of winter have scarcely given way to the warmer winds of spring. Wind-flowers, they are often called, because their lightly set flowers and leaves nod and dance in any breeze. Long ago in Rome the anemone was picked w ith an incantation intended to guard the picker from fever. In Asia, where the anemone also grows, it is planted on graves and is called the death flower. But this is spring this is Illinois - and our anemones, free from superstition, are creatures of wind and pure delight.