I saw my first wood anemones for this spring last weekend, dotted about the Nant Fawr woodland here in Cardiff, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I saw these wonderful lush displays in Cathays Cemetery. The wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa) is often to be found in the older graveyards throughout the British Isles, as well as in parks, gardens and ancient woodland. Its gorgeous white flowers, usually blooming from March through to May, have been likened by some to a late fall of snow blanketing the ground but, to my somewhat vivid imagination, it seems rather that the stars of the Milky Way have fallen to earth.
The wonderfully informative Plantlife website gives some interesting nuggets of information about this springtime favourite: it symbolises expectation, brevity and forlornness, and, in China, the flower’s pale, somewhat ghostly appearance has earned it the name ‘Flower of Death’. It is also the county flower of Middlesex.
I also discovered yesterday that the flowers of the wood anemone, though poisonous to humans, are favourites of hoverflies – in my ignorance I thought they were bees – and I got photos of 3 different species feasting on their pollen (but I’m saving those for a future blog.)