Spring is on the way: the grassy rides of Finemere Wood are scattered with primroses; a mass of bluebell leaves are emerging and the star-like white flowers of the wood anemone adorn the shady woodland paths. These solitary flowers have yellow anthers and elongated flower stems, their leaves divided into three lobes.
Anemone nemorosa is one of the first flowers of spring and one of my most favourite. It can be seen between March and May in deciduous woods, where it comes into bloom before the tree canopy becomes dense.
Very slow to spread, most of its seeds being infertile, it spreads through the growth of rhizomes, taking up to one hundred years to spread just six feet. Hence this plant is an indicator of ancient woodland. Hoverflies feed upon the wood anemone and aid in pollination. Other animals give it a wide berth due to its bitter taste, and to humans it is poisonous.