plants of the florilegium

Anemone tuberosa
Desert anemone

FAMILY:  Ranunculaceae — Buttercup family

OTHER COMMON NAMES:  Desert windflower, Tuber anemone

ETYMOLOGY:  The Greek word anemone means "daughter of the wind", and plants in the genus Anemone are called wind flowers. The species name tuberosa refers to the swollen, or tuberous, root.

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE:  Found in CA, NV, UT, AZ, NM, TX into Mexico

HABITAT:  Rocky slopes, 2,500-5,000', often growing in shade and along streamsides

BLOOMING SEASON:  February to April, one of the earliest spring wildflowers

DESCRIPTION:  Perennial plants, 4-16" tall that grow from a woody tuber.

White to pink/lavender flowers to 1.5" wide are supported by thin, erect stems. Flowers are composed of sepals instead of petals and have small hairs on the underside. Seeds form in wooly, cone-shaped heads.

Leaves up to 4" long are divided into segments. They grow from the base of the plant and also grow in a whorl midway up the stem.

NOTES:  After the seeds have dispersed, the plant shrivels and dies back until the underground tuber sprouts again in the spring. In years without winter rains, the plant may skip a season and not emerge again until there is sufficient rainfall.