The Wood Anemone grows in dappled shade, claiming their share of the sunlight before the trees put on their leaves and the bluebells bloom. Wood anemone are a low-growing plants, with six to seven large, white star like flowers. They grow in clusters, to make the most of a sunny patch under the canopy and because it relies on spreading through the growth of its root structure rather than the dispersal of its seed. As a species it's surprisingly slow to spread (six feet in a hundred years!) and so is often used as an indicator of ancient woodland, if you find a carpet of white stars, it's likely to be an ancient woodland. Hoverflies are particularly fond of the wood anemone and help pollinate it. Other animals, however, will only eat it if nothing else is available, because of its acrid taste. It is poisonous to humans, you probably wouldn’t want to eat it anyway not only is it just too beautiful but it has a strong musky smell, hinted at in some old local names like 'smell foxes’.
By River Six Photo by Pixabay