Anemone Flower Meaning, Symbolism, and Uses You Should Know

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This kind of Anemone (yes, same spelling) is not the famous sea creature. Anemones are dainty and delicate flowers popular in home gardens. Behind these beautiful flowers lies even more interesting meaning and symbolism! It is commonly used as an ornamental as well as a magical charms and medicinal herbs during ancient times. 

In modern times, the anemone flower symbolism and meaning is rooted in its rich history and many colors. A white, yellow, or orange anemone flower each means sincerity, confidence, and wonder. Meanwhile, a contrasting blue and red anemone represents trust and love. And lastly, a pink and purple one symbolizes compassion and honor.

History of Anemone Flowers

Anemones are defined as perennial plants with vibrant colored poppy-like flowers. It consists of divided leaves with its flowers composed of sepals. It is mostly native to the temperate regions such as in North America. Anemone blooms during the first spring after its planting date in the late fall.

The anemones belong to genus Anemone of the Ranunculaceae or buttercup family with over 120 different species. It comes from the Greek word ánem meaning wind and ōnē meaning feminine. The entire genus name directly translates to daughter of the wind or wind’s daughter and has quite an interesting Greek mythology.

The floral name anemone can also go by other interesting names. Each of these names has its own story to tell. Windflower and pasque flower are two of the most popular other names. By nature, it is nyctinastic meaning the anemones sprang towards the sun during the day and anemone flowers close come nightfall.  

Since the flower’s natural reaction is to open in the morning and close at night, many believe that the flowers do this to protect the sleeping fairies every time the petals close. Blooming in the morning means it’s time for magic to happen in the day and whenever the anemone closes at night, it’s time for rest. 

Some of the major species of this flower include the Blue anemone (Anemone apennina), Grecian anemone (Anemone blanda), Peacock anemone (Anemone pavonina), European wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa), Poppy anemone (Anemone coronaria) and Japanese anemone (Anemone japonica).

Symbolism of Anemone Blossoms

Its delicate appearance and nature is what gives the anemone its unique and powerful symbolism. The most interesting anemone symbolism lies behind its other floral names windflower and pasque flower. The windflower is symbolic of the daughter of the wind. It is said that these gorgeous flowers only bloom whenever the wind blows – depicting how it is a fragile and delicate flower. 

Another anemone flower symbolism was popularized by herbalist John Gerade. According to him, the symbolism of the anemone comes from a moment during the period of Passover. During this time, these blooms were also symbolic of the time of Easter and are the inspiration for the brightly colored eggs during the egg hunt!

In the language of flowers, anemones are often symbolic of good mood and sometimes a forgotten love. It also symbolizes anticipation and excitement in weddings. Other symbolic meanings of the flower include protection against disease and represents new beginning.

white anemone

Meaning of Anemone Florets

Aside from its symbolic meaning, history, and various colors, anemones also have an etymological meaning. Most anemones symbolize anticipation because of its nyctinastic nature. This beautiful flower symbolizes affection anticipation but it also means abandonment and being forsaken when dead petals begin to fall.

Sadly, the anemone meaning can also include being taken for granted, sick, betrayed in love, neglected, and misplaced hope. Listed below are some of the different colors anemones bloom in. Aside from the diverse colors, each meaning is just as unique as well.

What do White Anemones Mean?

The color white is a neutral hue favored by almost anyone. In this case, white anemone flowers convey the meaning of sincerity. White anemones show the true meaning of inner peace and tranquility.

What do Red Anemones Symbolize?

Red anemones are symbolic of an unfading bond of love. In the language of flowers, these also symbolize strength and security.

Although according to an old Greek myth, a red anemone had quite a different meaning. It was symbolic of death and an act of forsaken love – either a forsaken or forgotten love.

What do Blue Anemones Indicate?

Dainty blue anemones indicate eager anticipation and undoubtful trust. The subtle blue of the sepals indicates calmness and relief. It is also symbolic of protection against evil spirits and ill omens.

What do Purple Anemones Represent?

Purple and blue anemones have quite a similar meaning. A purple anemone flower represents royalty and integrity. One’s honor, stability, harmony, and balance are depicted by purple anemone flowers.

What does a Pink Anemone Flower Symbolize?

Pink anemones symbolize devoted compassion and sympathy or empathy. In fact, this symbolism applies for both pink and red anemones.

What do Yellow Anemones Mean?

A yellow anemone flower pops up in vast numbers during bloom time in spring. The sight of such beautiful yellow anemones conveys daintiness and confidence.

What do Orange Anemones Indicate?

An orange anemone indicates confidence and ephemeral wonders.

What is the Cultural Significance of an Anemone Bloom?

Many Eastern cultures and ancient cultures have popular beliefs about what the anemone represents or embodies. Romans believed these flowers were a sign of bad luck. Similarly, Chinese and Egyptian cultures considered the anemone as a symbol of ill wishes or ill will because of its color. The Persians believed that the flower is a bringer of illness and bad luck. In earlier western cultures, European peasants carried anemones to ward off disease. Westerners tend to believe the disease was brought by the spring breezes. 

In eastern cultures of Asia such as Japan, the flowers were a symbol of bad luck because it was said that spring winds brought ill luck. Besides spring winds bad luck, the Japanese associate the anemone as the flower of the dead. Decorating memorial services with the flowers to pay last respects to a deceased loved one or lost love.

Most famous paintings more often than not have a beautiful flower in them. There are also famous paintings that honor the cultural significance of anemones. Various paintings symbolize the flowers’ beauty but in the case of the Purple Robe and Anemones by Henri Matisse, he emphasizes the beauty of the woman in the purple robe.

What Folktales are Associated with an Anemone Flower?

According to old English tales, Europeans would hold their breath for as long as they could while running in a field of wildflowers because the flowers poisoned the air causing diseases when breathed in. Other people believed the complete opposite and that these flowers were a charm of good luck and protection from evil.

In Roman mythology, Anemone was a divine nymph living in the court of Flora, the goddess of flowers, and her husband Zephyr, the west wind. Anemone and Zephyr were deeply in love, making Flora furious with jealousy. Flora banished Anemone from her court and was left to wither. Zephyr pleaded with Venus to turn her into a flower, only to abandon Anemone to the north wind, Boreas. By his strong winds, her flowers were forced open for all to see. 

Anemones were also called the Adonis flower in Greece. According to Greek mythology, Adonis was a young and handsome man. He was also the lover of the beautiful goddess of love, Aphrodite. Tragically, other gods watched as her lover Adonis was killed by a wild boar. Upon the death of her lover, where Aphrodite’s tears fell and the blood Adonis spilt were where the first anemone sprang.

What is the Biblical Meaning Behind an Anemone Blossom?

Early devout Christians believe in the biblical importance of pasque flowers. It was said that the flowers flourished throughout the Holy land and is an image of the Lilies mentioned in the New Testament. 

Sadly though, the flowers are symbolic of sorrow and death in Pagan beliefs. More recent Christian beliefs associated these blooms with illness. The blossoms portrayed the death of Christ during His Crucifixion and the sorrow of Virgin Mary during such tragedy. 

The flower’s three leaves are symbolic of the Holy Trinity while the red streaks on the sepals depict the blood Christ shed.

What is the Spiritual Influence of an Anemone Floret?

The spiritual magic of pasque flowers will help you work through your darkest fears and deepest sorrows guiding one through the path of healing and self-discovery. It is a reminder that tomorrow is a new and special day.

What does an Anemone Floral Tattoo Symbolize?

Choosing a Windflower for a tattoo design will send a message of you as a risk-taker with a strong heart and confident mind. Embodying this tattoo portrays beauty and is a symbol of love. 

Uses of Anemone Plant

The anemone flowers are a garden favorite of many for the several bright colors it comes in. Anemones can be used as a ground cover plant, cut flower, or a potted plant. It is a popular choice of flower to decorate on wedding bouquets, a valentine’s day bouquet, and in other floral arrangements paired with white tulips to give to loved ones.

This plant also has traditional medical claims and healing properties in different cultures. During the time of Greek and Roman empires, the flowers were often used by magicians as charms tied around the arms and neck to fight against diseases and menstrual complications.

For the Native American Indians, the anemones were made into a poultice used to treat gout, wounds, and burns. A word of caution that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.

~ image source: depositphotos/EBFoto

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