Woodland Trust

Nature's CalendarNature Detectives

Elder buds are starting to burst - have you seen any news leaves yet this year?

Wood anemone. Peter Paicewood anemone

Anemone nemorosa


Why not download our wood anemone fact sheet?

wood anemone fact sheet

  • One of the earliest and prettiest of all woodland flowers
  • It is a perennial
  • Leaves spring from the base
  • Sometimes forms a carpet in woods
  • Flowers are usually white, but sometimes pinkish.

Wood anemones. Fran HitchinsonWhere found

Woods, hedgerows and upland meadows.

When to look for

Fabulous wood anemone facts

  • The scent of wood anemones is not as attractive as their appearance - they are also known as 'smell fox' because of the musky aroma of their leaves

  • Most of the year the plant is hidden from view. It has no foliage, and looks just like a lumpy root (known as a 'rhizome') in the soil. Then at the end of February it bursts into life, sending up deeply lobed leaves, and flowering until May

  • Look out on nearby patches of bare soil for clusters of the little brown goblet-shaped cup fungi, Dumontinia tuberosa, which is parasitic on Anemone nemorosa and grows from dead or dying rhizomes of this plant

  • The Ancient Greeks believed the wood anemone was a gift from the wind god Anemos (or Eurus), sent to herald his coming in spring