Anemone is a genus of flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae, native to temperate zones. The genus is closely related to several other genera such as Pulsatilla (pasqueflowers) and Hepatica; some botanists include both of these genera within Anemone.

Anemone are perennials that have basal leaves with long leaf-stems that can be upright or prostrate. Leaves are simple or compound with lobed, parted, or undivided leaf blades. The leaf margins are toothed or entire.

Flowers with 4–27 sepals are produced singly, in cymes of 2–9 flowers, or in umbels, above a cluster of leaf- or sepal-like bracts. Sepals may be any color. The pistils have one ovule. The flowers have nectaries, but petals are missing in the majority of species.

The fruits are ovoid to obovoid shaped achenes that are collected together in a tight cluster, ending variously lengthened stalks; though many species have sessile clusters terminating the stems. The achenes are beaked and some species have feathery hairs attached to them.

A common name for anemones is "wind flowers". Anemone is derived from the Greek word anemoi, which in English means "winds".

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Greek ἀνεμώνη (anemōnē) means 'daughter of the wind', from ἄνεμος (ánemos, 'wind') + feminine patronymic suffix -ώνη (-ṓnē, so 'daughter of') The Metamorphoses of Ovid tells that the plant was created by the goddess Venus when she sprinkled nectar on the blood of her dead lover Adonis, and Ovid describes the etymology as referring to the frailty of the petals that can be easily blown away by the wind. "Anemone" may also refer to Nea'man, the Phoenician name for Adonis, referring to an earlier Syrian myth of the god of vegetation, also tusked by a boar.The name windflower is used for the whole genus as well as the wood anemone A. nemorosa.

Some of the species are grown in gardens. Their popularity varies by species and region. In addition to certain straight species being available, hybrids and cultivars are available for certain species. Certain species, such as A. coronaria, are typically only available in hybrid form while others, such as A. blanda are nearly always sold in straight species form.

Cultivated anemones are nearly always one of the following colors: bluish violet, white, pink, red, and hues in a range between violet and pink. There are no truly blue anemones, despite the frequent use of the label "blue" in marketing to describe blue-violet flowers (flowers that are more violet than blue). Color labelling inaccuracy in marketing is found in treatments of numerous other genera, especially as it concerns the color blue — although some popular garden flowers from the same family are actually blue, such as some selections from Delphinium. One species of anemone, Anemone ranunculoides, is unusual for its yellow flowers. Typically, only double-flowered forms of it are cultivated.

In horticultural terms there are three main groups:

1. spring-flowering species found in woodland and alpine meadows, often tuberous or rhizomatous; e.g. A. nemorosa, A. blanda
2. spring- and summer-flowering species from hot dry areas, with tuberous roots, e.g. A. coronaria
3. summer- and autumn-flowering species with fibrous roots, which thrive in moist dappled shade; e.g. A. hupehensis

The spring-flowering fall-planted ephemeral species Anemone blanda is grown in large-scale commercial cultivation and can be purchased in bulk quantities. It is most commonly-available with a bluish violet flower (usually erroneously called "Blue Shades" despite its flower being more purple than blue) that varies from intense to pale, depending upon the individual plant and possibly soil conditions. A white-flowered form is the second-most common type. The least common of the commonly-cultivated forms is a pale pink. The violet, and especially pink, forms sometimes possess petals that fade to white near the flower center. The genus contains quite a number of other spring-flowering species. A. hortensis and the hybrid A. fulgens have less-divided leaves than some others and have rose-purple or scarlet flowers.

Among the most well-known anemones is A. coronaria, often called the poppy anemone. It is a tuberous-rooted plant with parsley-like divided leaves and large poppy-like blossoms on stalks of from 15–20 cm high. It can be planted in the fall in zones 7 or 8 without extra protection or in spring in cooler zones. If planted in fall it will flower in the spring and if planted in the spring it will flower in late summer. The flowers are typically scarlet, crimson, bluish purple, reddish purple, or white. There are also double-flowered varieties, in which the stamens in the centre are replaced by a tuft of narrow petals. It has been used as a garden plant, in hybrid form in particular, for a long time in some parts of the world. Double forms are named varieties. Hybrids of the de Caen and St. Brigid groups are the most prevalent on the market. In Israel, large numbers of red-flowering non-hybrid A. coronaria can be seen growing in certain natural areas.

Anemone hupehensis, and its white cultivar 'Honorine Joubert', the latter especially, are well-known autumn-flowering selections. They grow well in well-drained but moisture-retentive soil and reach 60–100 cm in height, blooming continually for several weeks. A. hupehensis, A. vitifolia, and their hybrids and are particularly attractive to honeybees. A number of low-growing species, such as the native British A. nemorosa and A. apennina, have woodlands and other shady places as their habitat. Hepatica species typically also grow in shade.

Garden-cultivated anemones generally grow best in a loamy well-drained evenly-moist fertile soil, although the ephemeral A. blanda does not require as much moisture during the summer when it is dormant (unlike the related Eranthis species that can suffer if they become too dry even while dormant). Some prairie species that are rarely cultivated, such as Anemone cylindrica, grow well in drier warmer conditions and poor soil. A. coronaria has been described by some professional sources as preferring acidic soil and by others as preferring alkaline soil. Hardy species may be planted in October in many zones. Unlike a hardier species such as A. blanda, A. coronaria is described as hardy only as low as climate zone 7 by some sources and by others hardy only as low as zone 8. Various strategies, such as the use of protection, can be tried to plant them outdoors in fall in zone 6 but results may vary. As with other plants, some species can be readily raised from seed while some hybrids may be sterile. A. blanda typically blooms in mid spring. The larger anemone species typically grow well in partial shade, or in full sun provided they are shielded from the hottest sun in southern areas. A well-drained soil, enriched with compost, is typically utilized.
If cut flowers are desired, it is best to harvest the flowers early in the morning while it is still cold outside while the bloom is still closed. To open your flowers place in room temperature water out of direct sun. A. coronaria blooms can be purchased from some florists, between November and June depending upon availability.

"Anemone" has several different meanings depending on the culture and context in which the flower is being used.

Several of the Western meanings of anemone flowers pertain to the Greek mythology of the origin of the anemone flower featuring Adonis and Aphrodite. The goddess Aphrodite kept the mortal man Adonis as a lover; when Adonis was gored by a wild boar, Aphrodite's tears at his death mixed with his blood and gave rise to the anemone. In other versions, the boar was sent by other jealous Greek gods to murder Adonis. These origin stories reflect the classical dual meanings of the arrival of spring breezes and the death of a loved one.

In the Victorian language of flowers, the anemone represented a forsaken love of any kind, while European peasants carried them to ward off pests and disease as well as bad luck.

In other cultures, the meanings differ. In Chinese and Egyptian cultures, the flower of anemone was considered a symbol of illness due to its coloring. The anemone can be a symbol of bad luck in Eastern cultures. The Japanese anemone may be associated with ill tidings.
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