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Anemone coronaria  


Common name Crown Anemone  
Hebrew name כלנית מצויה  
أللّغة آلعربيّة شقائق النعمان  
Family Ranunculaceae
Petals 5
Leaf form Dissected
Leaf margin Emarginate
Habitat Heavy soils
Life form Geophyte
Distribution in Israel Golan, Hermon, Gallilee, Mediterranean coast, Upper Jordan valley, Northern valleys, Gilboa, Carmel, Samarian mountains, Samarian desert, Judean mountains, Judean desert and Dead Sea valley, Sharon, Shefela, Northern Negev, Negev hills and Eilat, Valley,
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Additional information
A very common perennial with beautiful showy flowers in many colors. Anemones of all colors belong to the same botanical species and are inter fertile. The color of the flower is determined genetically by the respective parent plants. The common colors are red, white, pink, purple and blue. Altogether, there are 25 color types of anemones in Israel. Each flower blooms for a few weeks in mid winter. They open and close according to the sunshine and other weather conditions. In bright days the flowers track the sun's movement in the sky, capturing maximum radiation and warmth in the cold season.
Anemones have a rounded bulb close to the soil surface. The flowers and leaves emerge directly from this bulb. After the first rains the leaves break out. They have a long petiole and three dissected lobes. The flowers appear later in mid-winter, each carried on top of a leafless hairy stalk. The flower stalks are bent and break the ground with a special hook. Aboveground they straighten and bear a whorl of 3 bracts underneath the flower. As the flower ages, the distance to the bract increases, and in the red ones, a white ring develops at the base of the petals. The flowers have 5-6 colorful petals. The pistils and stamens in dark metallic blue, almost black, color are located at the center. The flowers attract beetles and bees that feed on the pollen released by the stamens while transferring pollen from one flower to another. The beetles probably take advantage of the large flowers also for meeting and copulating with the opposite sex. Each composite fruit contains hundreds of seeds that bear fluffy hairs which aid their dispersal by the wind.
Anemones are common in north and central regions of Israel, and even reach the edges of the desert in the south. The same species can be found in Greece Turkey and throughout the Middle East.

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Anemone coronaria
Photo: Amram Eshel © All rights reserved.

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Heritage
The Hebrew name "KALANIT" is related to the Hebrew word for a bride "KALA" referring to its beauty. It was mentioned the Talmudic scriptures as "KLONITA".
The scientific and English name was derived from the Greek mythological word Anemoi, the wind gods. One of whom, the legendary Zephyrus was the west wind and bringer of light spring and early summer breezes. In ancient Greece wreaths of anemones were used to decorate the altar of the Goddess Venus. Hence the species name coronaria.
Certain source associate the anemones with the ”Lilies of the field" mentioned in Matthew (6:28).

In Arabic it is called "SKAIK-A-NAAMANN" probably referring to a Canaanite god by that name, and mentioned also as a flower name bye the Prophet Isaiah (17:10) "Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants…" [In the Hebrew text –"pleasant plants is "NITEI NAAMANIM"].

In Europe during the Middle Ages a wreath of anemone flowers put on a sick person's neck was believed to help him cure.

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