Forest anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

The Anemone nemorosa is a herbaceous plant

If you are one of those people who enjoy walking through the woods, surely you have seen on some occasion some beautiful white flowers that grow on the ground between the trees. It is usually quite showy as there are not many flowering vegetables growing in such low light shaded by stately tree and shrub plants. It is the herbaceous called anemone nemorosa, which covers the undergrowth of a beautiful green with flowers. It is very beautiful, but also very toxic, so its sale to the public is strictly prohibited.

Does this vegetable catch your attention? In this case, I recommend that you continue reading. In this post we will talk about the anemone nemorosa. we will explain what exactly is this plant, how is it, what are its properties and more interesting curiosities. I hope this information is interesting for you!

What is the anemone nemorosa?

The Anemone nemorosa is found in the understory

La anemone nemorosa, also known as nemorosa anemoids, wood anemone, wood anemone, meadow anemone, wind flower, England button, fox scent, nemorosa, and white buttercup, is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the genus Anemone, which in turn is part of the family ranunculaceae. Normally it blooms at the beginning of spring and we can find it in the undergrowth, that is, on the ground in wooded areas. It was described by the Swedish naturalist Charles Linnaeus (Carl Von Linné), who included this vegetable in his book «Species Plantarum«, published in the year 1753.

As we have already seen, this pretty flower has many names, but its scientific name comes from the Greek. The term "anemos» means «wind» and «anemone» could be translated as «easily stirred by the winds». According to an ancient legend, the flowers of this plant only open when the wind blows. In addition, the Greeks used to associate these plants with the winds, which in turn heralded the beginning of spring. The name of the species, "nemorosa«, has its origin in Latin and is translated as «of the forests», due to its natural habitat. Everything seems to indicate that this flower was cultivated as an ornamental plant in Roman gardens. Still, in some European countries, peasants consider the forest anemone a bad omen. In China, it is also known as the flower of death.

Description of the forest anemone

We already know a little more about the anemone nemorosabut what does it look like? Let's see: It is a herbaceous plant that usually measures between five and fifteen centimeters high. During the time when the plant does not develop its aerial habit, it does extend its roots similar to rhizomes underground. These expand very quickly, so it is a fast-expanding vegetable if conditions are favourable. Therefore, we can find that this plant covers much of the forest floor.

As for the flowers of this plant, they usually have a diameter of approximately two centimeters. They have about five to seven petals or segment-like tepals. In the wild, These flowers are usually white. but on some occasions they can also be blue, pink or lilac. In addition, they usually have a darker tone on the underside. It should be noted that they have hardly any fragrances and nectar, since they do not depend on insects to reproduce.

Properties and curiosities of theanemone nemorosa

The flowers of the Anemone nemorosa are usually white.

Now that we know more about the anemone nemorosaLet's see what its properties are. Despite being poisonous, it is used to make medicines and cosmetics. It is normally used as an antibacterial, rubefacient, antitussive and vesicant. Topically it is used to treat rheumatic diseases, that is, those related to the musculoskeletal system (ligaments, tendons, bones, muscles and joints). Since it is a toxic plant for humans, it is always used outdoors. Like other anemones, the forest anemone has active ingredients called anemonin and protoanemonin, which is the toxic component of this plant. With 200 grams of these active ingredients, an animal weighing about ten kilos could be killed.

Both the fresh grass of the anemone nemorosa Like the essential oil that is made with it, they have a high percentage of protoanemonin lactone, which we have already mentioned above that is very toxic. In the case of consuming it orally, it can cause seizures and even death. If applied externally, it can result in gangrene, skin irritation and inflammation. There is the possibility of drying the protoanemone to transform it into isoanemonic acid and anemonin, which are less toxic substances.

Given this information, it is not surprising that the public sale of the wood anemone is prohibited, or at least restricted depending on the region. Given its high toxicity, the public sale of the same plant or its preparations is not allowed. The use is limited only to the preparation of certain drugs, official preparations, magisterial formulas and some homeopathic strains, as long as their use is subject to control and medical prescription.

In the world of cosmetics this plant is used making a vinegar prepared with leaves, similar to mustard. In this way, it fulfills the function of rubefacient, that is, it causes redness and irritation of the skin, reaching the point of relieving the pain of certain musculoskeletal conditions.

As a curious fact about the forest anemone, it should be noted that It is the emblematic flower of the Gothenburg Botanical Garden, which is located in Sweden. There we can find quite extensive meadows of this vegetable in the wooded areas of the park. Without a doubt, it is worth visiting this place if we are traveling in the area.

Like many other plants and even animals, the anemone nemorosa It shows us that beauty, on some occasions, can also be dangerous, even if we don't expect it. What do you think of this herbaceous plant? You can leave us your opinion in the comments.

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