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".
Anemone was named by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 and is situated in the tribe Anemoneae, subfamily Ranunculoideae, and the family Ranunculaceae. As considered in the broader sense (sensu lato) the genus is sometimes considered to include a number of other genera, such as Anemonoides, Anemonastrum, Hepatica, Pulsatilla, Knowltonia, Barneoudia, and Oreithales. Several of these were included as separate genera within Anemoneae by Wang et al., a tribe with six genera in total.
Early molecular analyses divided the genus into two subgenera (Anemonidium and Anemone), with seven sections, and 12 informal subsections. Ziman and colleagues (2008) treated the genus Anemone as 5 subgenera, 23 sections, 4 subsections, 23 series and about 118 species. A further reclassification by Hoot and colleagues (2012) estimated 200 species.
Hoot et al. found many of the previously defined subdivisions, based on morphological characteristics were polyphyletic or paraphyletic. In contrast two clearly defined monophyletic clades emerged corresponding to the above two subgenera. Anemonidium demonstrated four subclades, corresponding to sections. The larger subgenus Anemone showed a similar pattern.
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. 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.
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.


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