A Native Of Europe- The Anemone sylvestris is more commonly known as the Anemone Windflower. It is a cool season perennial, native to Europe, particularly northern Europe, and in the mountains of central and Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus. The anemone is found in the wild in shaded deciduous forests. Anemone sylvestris is a perennial, blooming in the spring, usually April or early May, and features white cup-shaped blossoms with yellow anthers. The blossoms grow on single stems above green deeply-lobed foliage. The blossoms are fragrant though the fragrance is not particularly strong.
The blossoms of Anemone sylvestris appear on foot high stems and are up to 2" in diameter, with each blossom having 5 sepals. In the United States, New England and the Pacific Northwest are ideal locations for this plant. In fact it will usually not bloom in areas having warmer spring and summer weather. Planted in partial shade where the spring weather is cool, the blossoms will often last several weeks, but if the weather warms up, the plants rapidly die back and go underground for another year. The plant is not at all fussy about the type of soil it grows in, especially in the wild.
A Potentially Invasive Plant - Another name for Anemone sylvestris is the Snowdrop Windflower. This name should not be confused with the popular Snowdrop, a much smaller plant which blooms much earlier in the spring, often as the snow is disappearing. While Anemone sylvestris will not bloom long in direct sun or warm stretches of weather, it will spread rapidly under such conditions and can, if unattended, become quite invasive. The plant's root system can easily choke out most other small plants, and the anemone can be difficult to eradicate, especially if grown in loamy soil. When planted in a clay soil, the plant does not spread as easily and is easier to control and not so invasive. A good loam is nevertheless recommended in the garden to get the very best results. Growing where it belongs, and under the right conditions, the plant will produce masses of white, nodding blooms. It does best in bright shade, but will grow in full shade, where it actually will do better in a warmer climate. The plant is hardy in USDA Zones 3 through 7. While it can be grown in many parts of the country, it does not care for desert heat, and is not drought tolerant, requiring an average amount of water.
When planting Anemone sylvestris, space the plants about 1 foot apart. It is best planted in the spring once the soil is workable or early fall. Spring planting is best in colder areas so the root system will be fully developed by the onset of freezing weather. An established plant can placed in the soil anytime between spring and fall.
Best Locations For Planting - Rock gardens are an ideal place for Anemone sylvestris, but if mass planting is desired it's best to work the soil in the entire area, and then place the individual rhizomes in small holes foot apart, at a depth approximately 3 times the thickness of the rhizome. A random or natural drift arrangement is always best, since rhizome rot or destruction by rodents can leave unattractive gaps in a planting if the plants are placed in rows or in any formal pattern. Anemone sylvestris is at its best however in its natural setting, a woodland setting. Planted amongst trees, evergreen as well as deciduous, the plants can be allowed to naturalize and spread at will. In many parts of Europe, particularly Scandinavia, collecting Anemone Windflower blossoms during a walk in the woods in the late spring or early summer is an old and treasured tradition.