Sometimes the anemone
will fool you. It will show up along the road sides and the south facing
banks and you will see them and say, "How about that, springs is
here." But don't be foolish enough to go plant the garden. The
anemone has been known to get lost in the snow or frost of a spring
The anemone is the
very first flower we see in the spring here along Sulfur Creek. It will
appear suddenly among the dead grass and dried weeds. It is a white, pale
lavender, or purple flower on a tall thin stalk. It has a strange leaf
like fringe on the stem. Folks who study plants call them bracts. They
sometimes look like three pieces of fern tied to the stalk in an attempt
to look like a bouquet. But they are so far down the stalk that it is
only an attempt at a bouquet. The leaves on the anemone are more sensible.
They will lie on or close to the ground so they don't get frozen as often
as the flowers.
The leaves are
flat and a little furry, with rounded ends that don't look anything
like the bracts. The buds and the underside of the leaves are sometimes
purple. That gives the plants a pretty exotic look, purple and green.
The leaves look a little like parsley, but thicker. The flower of the
anemone is pretty exotic when you look closely at it.
The petals are long
with fringed ends. There are usually ten of them but there may be as many
as twenty. They will open up and fold back till they are almost folding
down. The center of the flower is a button like knob surrounded by a fringe
of delicate thread like stems topped with reddish balls. When the flower
is finished blooming, the little knob begins to grow into a seed pod.
The seed pod looks
like a miniature green cattail. It breaks up like a cattail to, lots
of very tiny seeds. Beginning sometime in February or even occasionally
in late January, you can see the anemones all along the road sides and
fields through out the Hill Country. They are especially thick where
the rocks face south and are warmed by the winter sun. They keep blooming
until March and April but by then they get lost among the multicolored
glories of our spring wild flowers.
Around most of our
urban areas there is a black, noisy bird who must think it is one of our
year round glories. At least its behavior leads one to think that, but
that's another story.
Copyright 1986,1996 by Sulfur Creek Enterprises, Austin, Texas