Kruckeberg Botanic Garden Plant of the Month – Wood Anemone

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

By Sarah Baker, Garden Director

The wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa ‘vestal’) is always a charmer in spring.  A dependable groundcover, its delicate leaves and cheerful white flowers add color and texture to the woodland floor. It naturalizes well in our area and is a yearly favorite among visitors to the Garden and the MsK Nursery, located within the Garden.
Photo by Vicki Demetre


In the Garden, wood anemone joins its relatives Anemone blanda and A. nemorosa ‘Robinsoniana’ as one of the most widespread spring flowers. The three mix harmoniously with other groundcovers, such as the ferns, hardy cyclamen, and numerous native groundcovers that fill the Garden. All are happiest when planted in drifts in rich soil and light shade.

Anemone nemorosa ‘vestal’ differs from its relatives in its burst of petaloid stamens in the flower’s center, which creates an elegant puff effect. This changes the purpose of the stamens to form rather than reproductive function, rendering the flowers sterile but long lasting in the landscape. This is an undesirable characteristic for the plant, but a boon for the gardener. 

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