Windflower (Anemone berlandieri probably)

windflower nose
Anemone berlandieri
I like the common name for this plant: ‘windflower.’ It seems a true naming: a flower conjured by the wind.

Somewhere nearby, the air must have picked up a delicate seed puff and brought it to a safe landing by our house. The seed survived all manner of peril: hot blasts of turbulence from passing traffic … hungry birds on the wing … the sizzling Texas pavement where roads actually melt and get gooey … even a solitary raindrop could have caused a crash landing. Yet, here it is.

I could call her Ariel —  something light and airy — but I think her outward expression is misleading

Patience is a better descriptor of her true nature. She may have flew in on fluff and nonsense but unlike the annuals that come for a visit, she didn’t immediately explode into a flashy flower. She set to work on something more enduring. Some plants build delicate spiderwebs of roots; she began construction on a tuber. Tubers are solid and thick; they are like water and energy vaults. This is an effective survival strategy if you live in an untrustworthy environment.

It took her a couple of years before she was ready to present her first flower. You might see a weed but I see a tiny expression of hope.

The flower is nyctinastic. At night or in cloudy conditions the sepals close forming a kind of thimble shape.  People have speculated on the purpose: to avoid freezing, to keep pollen dry, to avoid nocturnal pollinators in favor of diurnal creatures …

I like to think it is dreaming — or plotting global domination.

— edit —

Just learned that anemones are part of the Ranunculus (buttercup) family and that rānunculus means “little frog.” Frog? Why? It does seem to like a moist environment and will hide away once it gets dry in the summer. But I think the name comes from the deeply cut leaves. If you look sideways at them and squint a bit they could look like frog fingers ….

5 thoughts on “Windflower (Anemone berlandieri probably)

  1. Hi Debra!

    I work for a small non-profit land trust in Tryon, NC, the Pacolet Area Conservancy, and we are trying to get an inventory of the rare plants, animals, and habitats in our county, Polk County. We have been submitting articles to our local newspaper, the Tryon Daily Bulletin, every month, and asking for the public to help us locate rare plant and animal species that have either been recorded from our county in the past but not seen for many years, or have been identified in surrounding counties, but not reported from our county.

    This month’s plant is Anemone berlandieri and I would like to use your image, if possible, and I would like to give you credit. If it is okay to use your image, could you please tell me how you would like to be credited?

    If you would like to learn more about our land trust, visit The previous “Polk County’s Most Wanted” (the plants, animals, and habitats that we have featured) can be found at

    Thank you for considering it, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!



    1. How nice! You are welcome to use the picture. I may have better ones coming up soon and you are free to use those too if you like. A link to the blog is more than sufficient. I am looking forward to visiting your site.


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