Windflower, Wind poppy
Anemones have cup-shaped, poppylike blooms that can open to about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. There are single-flowered forms (‘De Caen’ group) as well as semidouble and double forms (‘St. Brigid’ group). These flowers have a whorl, or collar, of lacy foliage just under the blooms, which are composed of five or more petal-like sepals (not petals). Stems are leafless, somewhat fragile and usually range from 12 to 18 inches long.
Colors include white; blue; and a range of reds and violets, including scarlet, rose, pink, burgundy, mauve, red-violet, lavender, orchid, purple and blue-violet. Bicolor varieties, primarily red, rose or pink and white, also are available. The centers (eyes) of these flowers are generally black; however, some varieties have “neutral” (white, cream, yellow or light green) centers.
Vase life is relatively short—three to eight days—so it is best to sell Anemones within two days of receipt.
Depending on variety and grower, these flowers are available almost year-round—approximately September through June, give or take a month—from a combination of domestic and foreign producers.
Anemones are easily water stressed and wilt easily, so unpack them as soon as they arrive in your facility. Remove any stem bindings, but leave sleeves on at this point, until flowers are hydrated, to encourage straight stems.
HYDRATION AND NUTRITION
Recut stem ends with a sharp blade, removing at least 1 inch of stem, to eliminate dirt and microbes. Immediately dip or place stem ends into a hydration solution, to help the flowers absorb water quickly, then place them into sterilized containers partially filled with properly proportioned flower-food solution—either regular flower food; bulb food (Anemones are grown from tubers); or low-dose nutrient solution (Anemones benefit little from the sugar in flower-food solutions, which is why low-dose, or holding, solution can be used).
Immediately after processing Anemones, place them into a floral cooler, at 33 F to 38 F, to hydrate for at least two hours before selling or arranging them. Remove sleeves after the flowers are hydrated.
Anemones are highly sensitive to ethylene gas, which causes petals to drop. Make sure your purchases are treated with an ethylene inhibitor at the grower or during shipping, and protect them from sources of ethylene (especially produce) in your facilities.
Do not place Anemones into storage containers with freshly cut daffodils (Narcissus) because daffodils exude a sap that can shorten the vase life of Anemones.
Also, stand the bunches vertically in their storage containers and leave sleeves on bunches during the processing/hydration phase to promote straight stems (Anemone stems continue to elongate and twist after harvest). Remove sleeves following hydration to facilitate air circulation among the blooms.
FAMILY MATTERS Anemones are members of the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family, and in addition to buttercups (Ranunculus), they are related to hellebores (Helleborus), love-in-a-mist (Nigella), larkspurs and Delphiniums, monkshood (Aconitum), columbines (Aquilegia) and Clematis.
WHAT’S IN A NAME The botanical name Anemone is often said to be derived from the Greek work “anemos,” which means wind, an allusion to the frailness and lightness of the blooms. It was also once believed that these flowers were opened and closed by the wind when, in fact, they open with the sun and close at night or in dark conditions.
Another theory is that Anemone is a derivative of the name Adonis, the youthful Greek god who was killed while hunting a wild boar. Adonis died in the arms of his true love, Aphrodite, who sprinkled his blood with nectar, which produced these scarlet flowers.
The specific epithet (species name) “coronaria” means of garlands, in reference to a use for the flowers.
HOME SWEET HOME Anemones are native to the eastern Mediterranean region, from Greece through southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Israel.
A VARIETY OF VARIETIES There are many cultivar groups in cut Anemones. Some of the most prevalent today are ‘Carmel’, ‘Cristina’, ‘Galilee’, ‘Jerusalem’, ‘Marianne’, ‘Meron’, ‘Mistral’, ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘San Piranness’, ‘Tetra’ and ‘Wicabri’.
• Choose flowers that are just beginning to open and have thick, sturdy stems.
• Anemones tend to be fragile, so look for bruising, mold and discolored foliage.
• Anemones can release a strong irritant oil through their stems, especially when cut, which can cause contact dermatitis in some people. Wearing latex gloves while handling these flowers can prevent people from contracting the condition.
• Ingestion of any parts of these flowers can cause minor stomach upset in some people and animals.
To view 10 additional Anenome varieties, please download the PDF.
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Some information provided by:
Botanica, by R.G. Turner Jr. and Ernie Wasson
Chain of Life Network® , www.chainoflife.org
Cut Flowers, by C. Gelein
Cut Flowers of the World
by Johannes Maree and Ben-Erik Van Wyk
by Liberty Hyde Bailey and Ethel Zoe Bailey
Pocket Flower Expert, The, by Dr. D.G. Hessayon
SAF Flower & Plant Care,
by Terrill A. Nell, Ph.D., and Michael S. Reid, Ph.D.