Of Windflowers And Pileworts


That would be wood anemones and lesser celandines – the bright stars of English wildflowerdom. The celandines have been flowering for weeks and weeks and usually are among the first spring bloomers. It’s hard not to smile when you first spot their mini-sunbursts popping out the dreary over-wintered grass.

This year they have also colonised our front flower bed that runs down to the road. There must have been hosts of seeds among the wood chippings that I gathered up last year after tree and branch felling in the Linden Field. A double bonus then: first the autumn mulch, then an unforeseen spring flowering. They grow very low to the ground in coronets of lush green leaves, and so have most discreetly filled gaps between the daffodil clumps. I expect I’ll let them stay. The pilewort common name of course denotes an old herbal application.

I’m not expecting any wood anemones to emerge from the front garden mulch. As their name suggests, they prefer wooded terrain, or at least ground where woodland once was. I found the one in the photo growing beside the path between the Linden Field and Windmill Hill, under the oaks and conifers, keeping company with primroses and violets and dog’s mercury and wild arum. Legend has it that only the wind will make them open their delicate petals. I beg to differ. When I took this one’s photo it was embracing the sun full-on, as you can see. The next day when I returned to the same spot, the anemones were all hanging their heads and shivering in the cold wind. With no sunshine on offer, they looked like bedraggled waifs, much hard-done-by.

Today in Shropshire the snow flurries have stopped. We have sun and wind. A good moment then to check on the plant life in the Linden Field, and also to gather supplies from a fresh cache of wood chips from a felled oak tree. They chips are brilliant for allotment paths and dosing the hot compost bin. The things one does!


Copyright 2021 Tish Farrell

Bright Square #8

23 thoughts on “Of Windflowers And Pileworts

  1. The sparkle, even the shivery ones. I love the deep green color of the leaves. I hope you will post for Sunday Stills. I am guest hosting for Terri Webster Schrandt, and the topic is emerging. That was the first thing I thought of when I saw your photos. I haven’t found anything as lovely in Prescott as these little wildflowers you shared, Tish. 🙂 Anyway, you would love meeting Terri, if you don’t already know her. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the intro to Sunday Stills, Marsha. It had rippled over my consciousness in the reader as obviously we have mutual blogging chums who post there. I’ve also just popped over to your place. What a wonderful landscape you inhabit. I shall be back there 🙂

      1. ahhh, am I going to feel the same about teasels I wonder – I did have fun sharing the seed around the garden!!

      2. Hee hee I’m hoping they might defeat the ground elder at the edges!! However so far only the 15 or so in pot have germinated, so probably will be manageable. I’ll think carefully where I plant them!

  2. I can imagine the celandines spreading but they are such sunny little flowers. Wood anemones are a favourite. I always thought the name was because they blow and quiver in the slightest wind, so I was interested by the legend. I think I’m with you though!

    1. Us country folk have a history of cutting up rough when it comes to naming things. ‘Smell fox’ is another name for wood anemone. And others include allusions to under-garments. Oh dear!

  3. Although I love the lesser celandines I am afraid I have had to be ruthless in the garden and dig as many up as I can as they spread ruthlessly taking over from the cyclamen that live under the tree. Once you have them I don’t think you will ever be without. On the other hand I would be happy for the wood anemones to spread, they do seem to be happy colonising on the hill away from the wood, so they might well be happy on your verge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.