Wood Anemone

Common name:
Wood anemone
Anemone nemorosa
Lus na gaoithe
Ranunculaceae (The Buttercup Family)
Flowering period:
woodlands, hazel scrub, limestone pavement, open grassland along woodland edges
Conservation Status:
locally abundant throughout the Burren

Delightful woodland flowers adorned the ground beneath the hazel woodlands of the Burren, Co Clare during Spring time.

Short description:

Star like white petaled flowers which are sometimes flushed with pink, leaves a whorl of 3-palmately lobed individuals that emerge half way up the stem

Noteworthy characteristics:

Ever so delicate, these star shaped white flowers adorn woodland floors in early Spring in the Burren. A beautiful sight in dappled light , highlighting the soft green shades of its leaves  and the brightness of its flowers.

Uses and other points of interest:

The word anemone originates from the Greek ‘anemos’ meaning wind, as the seeds are wind pollinated. This meaning is carried through in the Irish name for this plant ‘lus na gaoithe’ meaning ‘herb of the wind ‘. An even older and intriguing Irish name for this plant is Nead chailleach which translates to “witches nest”.

Nemorosa means ‘of the wood.’


Although regarded as a poisonous plant it has been used in the past in the treatment of sores, wounds and chest infections. Other past uses in Ireland include, to treat sore eyes, and to promote nursing mothers milk.


Personal note:

Such a delicately beautiful flower adding much grace and elegance to the woodland floor in early Spring throughout the Burren. I only discovered its Irish name this year and it really captured my imagination and it has stayed in my mind, when you say the name “lus na gaoithe” you can hear and almost feel the gently breeze as it glides over this pretty plant.




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