The wood anemone is one of the native early flowering anemones: In early spring, when it opens its star-shaped flowers, which can be up to four centimetres in size, the undergrowth in forests shines in bright white in many places. But there are also wood anemones that bloom blue, yellow or purple. The lavender ‘Robinsoniana’, the blue ‘Royal Blue’ and the yellow hybrid Anemone x lipsiensis are popular in domestic gardens.

As its Latin name Anemone nemorosa suggests, the anemone belongs to the group of anemones, of which there are more than 120 species worldwide. They all occur mainly in the northern hemisphere and prefer the semi-shade of trees or slopes.

When does the anemone flower?
Depending on the region, the anemone opens its flowers in February/March – both in the forest and in your garden. But in May it is unfortunately often already over with its splendour. But then the wood anemone leaves remain standing for some time, which is why the plant is also very suitable for spring as a short-term ground cover. The special features of the wood anemone are its ability to close its flowers as protection during rain and at night. Only when there is no rain during the day do they open again.

The right place for wood anemones
Thanks to its original location in deciduous forests, the wood anemone prefers semi-shady places in the garden and thrives even under shrubs. The ideal soil is loose, moderately moist garden soil. As it belongs to the early flowering family, the anemone has already retreated when other plants form their first leaves or bloom. It is therefore an ideal gap filler between perennials in the bed for the first rays of sunlight. This is not how it looks orphaned in the garden, but it shows an initial abundance of flowers. Good bed partners are ferns that also love shade and cover the wilted green of the anemone in summer.

Bush anemone propagation
Mainly the anemone reproduces underground with its widely branching perseverance organs and renewal buds (rhizomes). Over time, this produces regular plant carpets that cover the ground and bloom beautifully in spring. You can, however, contain the free wildlife by cutting the edge of the areas to the desired size with a spade. This way, the anemone can be reproduced at the same time: You can simply plant the cut rhizome pieces elsewhere in the garden and new plants will grow from them.

If you want to buy anemones, you can buy them as a finished plant in a container or order rhizome pieces online. The best time for planting is from September to November.

Dig a 5 cm deep hole for planting and loosen up the deeper layers of soil with a shovel.
Use the rhizome piece or the complete anemone, cover the roots with fresh garden soil and water carefully.
The distance between the plants should be about 20 cm.
Another little tip: Soak the roots in water overnight before planting, to improve their subsequent rooting.

A further possibility for propagation is with bush anemone seeds. They can be bought in many places on the market or online. This method is particularly suitable as a pre-culture in plant trays. However, the chances of success with this method are often not promising and therefore only something for experienced gardeners.

Bush anemone overwintering
As an extremely undemanding wildflower (stinsen plant), the wood anemone does not need any special winter protection. However, it is advisable to cover the plant with a layer of mulch in autumn. In this way the root network is protected and over time nutrient-rich humus forms as a simple fertilizer. But be careful: Do not work the layer into the soil, as this would only damage the delicate network of the rhizomes and thus damage your plant.

Is the anemone protected?
Yes, the wood anemone is protected. Even if it is tempting, you should not simply dig up wood anemones for your own garden in the forest. You’d be better off using ready-made plants from the trade.

Is the anemone poisonous?
Yes, all plant parts of the wood anemone are poisonous due to the content of protoanemonine. Therefore you should keep small children and animals away from the buttercup plants. The symptoms of poisoning range from skin allergies, mucous membrane irritations, gastrointestinal complaints such as vomiting to paralysis.

When dried, however, the ingredient of the anemone loses its toxicity. However, for your own health, do not consider the anemone to be edible. Collect it dried in a herbarium (plant book) – where you can always look at it alongside other dried plants.

Does the anemone have a healing effect?
For a long time the anemone was considered a medicinal plant with a special effect on rheumatic complaints, gout or stomach pain. In today’s herbal medicine, however, the toxicity of the plant means that it is not used because the health risk is simply too great. Is the wood anemone protected?
Yes, the wood anemone is a protected species. Even if it is tempting, you should not simply dig up wood anemones for your own garden in the forest. You’d be better off using ready-made plants from the trade.

Is the anemone poisonous?
Yes, all plant parts of the wood anemone are poisonous due to the content of protoanemonine. Therefore you should keep small children and animals away from the buttercup plants. The symptoms of poisoning range from skin allergies, mucous membrane irritations, gastrointestinal complaints such as vomiting to paralysis.

When dried, however, the ingredient of the anemone loses its toxicity. However, for your own health, do not consider the anemone to be edible. Collect it dried in a herbarium (plant book) – where you can always look at it alongside other dried plants.

Does the anemone have a healing effect?
For a long time the anemone was considered a medicinal plant with a special effect on rheumatic complaints, gout or stomach pain. In today’s herbal medicine, however, the toxicity of the plant means that it is not used because the health risk is simply too great.

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