WINDFLOWER

"Youth, like a thin Anemone, displays
His silken leaf, and in a morn decays."
 

The anemone is also known as windflower. This is because it is the wind that opens up the blossom, and gets rid of its dead petals. The metaphorical implications are enticing. Red and pink anemone flowers symbolise death or forsaken love. In George Ferguson's Signs & Symbols in Christian Art, he relates how anemones are often depicted in images of the Crucifixion or alongside the Virgin Mary as she mourns the death of Christ, the red anemones included in these paintings symbolising the blood that Christ shed.The Rev Hilderic Friend in his Flowers and Flower Lore, writes in the chapter The Language of Flowers: "The frailty of the Anemone has led to its being taken as the emblem of Sickness. Pliny tells us that the magicians and wise ones in olden times attributed wonderful powers to this plant, and ordered that every person should gather the first Anemone he saw in the year, repeating at the same time this sentence: "I gather thee for a remedy against disease." It was then placed in a scarlet cloth and kept undisturbed unless the gatherer became indisposed, when it was tied either round the neck or under the arm of the sufferer."*

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