Wood anemone is a North American native found in woodland habitats. Anemone is
a corruption of the Semitic name for Adonis, whose blood was said to have brought forth
the red-flowered anemone of the orient. Or, in a perfect
example of how the origins of names are sometimes lost in the mists of history, Anemone
could be from the Greek ánemos plus ōnē meaning “daughter of the wind,” a flower that can only open
at the wind’s bidding. Either way, quinquefolia means “five-leaved,” and
wood anemones are part of the family of buttercups.
Identification: Wood anemone, which spreads quickly
via its root system, is often found covering large areas of woodland floors. It reaches heights
of 1¾-12" (5-30 cm) in the spring, and dies back to its root system later in the season.
Leaves are in groups of five or sometimes three, arranged evenly around the stem. Each
leaf is about twice as long as it is wide, up to 2" (5 cm) long. Flowers are white or tinged
often nodding, up to ¾" (1.9 cm) across, with five petals (actually tepals).
Edibility: I couldn’t find any definite information, but
most members of the buttercup family are poisonous , so wood anemone should be
assumed poisonous as well.