Yellow wood anemone

Anemone ranunculoides
Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae)

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Anemone ranunculoides, the yellow anemone, yellow wood anemone or buttercup anemone, is a species of herbaceous perennial plant that grows in forests across most of Continental Europe, and less frequently in the Mediterranean region. It's occasionally found as a garden escape.


It flowers between March and May in the Northern Hemisphere.

Growing to 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) tall, the plant is herbaceous, dying back down to its root-like rhizomes by mid summer. The rhizomes spread just below the earth surface and multiply quickly, contributing to its rapid spread in woodland conditions. The flower is about 1.5 centimetres (0.59 in) diameter, with from five to eight petal-like segments (actually tepals) of rich yellow colouring.


The plant is widely grown as a garden plant, especially by rock garden and alpine garden enthusiasts. It has been awarded an Award of Garden Merit or AGM, H4 (hardy throughout the British Isles) by the Royal Horticultural Society. The double-flowered form 'Pleniflora' (sometimes listed as 'Flore Pleno') is also a recipient of the award. Anemone ranunculoides 'Frank Waley', a larger-growing, more robust cultivar, is sometimes available, as are the miniature subspecies A. ranunculoides subsp. wockeana and a selection known as A. ranunculoides 'Laciniata', with finely divided leaves.

Related species and hybrids

Wood anemone, Anemone nemorosa, is similar to A. ranunculoides but has slightly larger flowers (usually white, but they may be pinkish or lilac, often with a darker tint to the back of the 'petals'). Anemone × lipsiensis is a hybrid between these two species and has pale yellow flowers; it is often found where the two parent species grow near each other. A. × lipsiensis 'Pallida' is the best-known result of this cross. It has been awarded the AGM.




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