Snowdrop anemone Anemone sylvestris

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
snowdrop windflower


Anemone sylvestris, commonly known as the snowdrop anemone, is a perennial plant that adds charm to gardens with its distinctive features. Its appearance is noted for the beautiful white flowers that bloom profusely in spring. Each flower has a simple, yet elegant look with numerous petals that radiate around a central core of delicate, yellow stamens. The petals have a soft texture and a pure white color that stands out against the backdrop of the plant's foliage. The leaves of the snowdrop anemone are deeply lobed and form a basal clump that is both lush and somewhat fern-like in character. These leaves are typically green, adding a contrasting foundation beneath the snow-white blossoms. As the seasons change, the plant may also produce a fluffy seed head that gives it a unique, cottony appearance. Overall, the aesthetic of the snowdrop anemone is one of gentle beauty; it's often described as having a whimsical or fairy-like quality. The blossoms' nodding heads in the breeze and the soft shape of the leaves contribute to this ethereal feel. Its simple color palette of white and green allows it to blend easily with other plants in a garden while still maintaining its individual allure. This plant is often appreciated for its ability to signify the awakening of nature in the spring with its bright, cheerful flowers.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Snowdrop Anemone, Snowdrop Windflower.

    • Common names

      Anemone altaica var. sylvestris, Anemonastrum sylvestre.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Snowdrop anemone contains toxic compounds that can cause skin irritation upon contact. If ingested, it may cause mild to severe gastrointestinal upset, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. In some cases, the plant's toxins can affect the nervous system leading to symptoms such as dizziness, lethargy, and seizures. In severe cases, ingestion could potentially lead to respiratory complications and coma. Seek medical attention immediately if ingestion is suspected.

    • To pets

      Snowdrop anemone is also toxic to pets and can induce similar symptoms as in humans. Ingestion by animals can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Additionally, more severe symptoms such as tremors, seizures, and weakness may occur. If a pet ingests this plant, it is crucial to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible for proper care and treatment.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-1.5 feet (30-45 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Snowdrop anemone offers delicate white flowers that enhance garden aesthetics.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The blooms attract bees and other pollinators, supporting biodiversity.
    • Easy to Grow: It is a hardy plant that requires minimal care once established, making it suitable for novice gardeners.
    • Shade Tolerance: It can thrive in partially shaded environments where other plants might struggle.
    • Seasonal Interest: With its spring blossoms, it provides early seasonal interest in gardens and landscapes.
    • Naturalizing: Snowdrop anemone can spread and naturalize in suitable conditions, filling in garden spaces.
    • Deer and Rabbit Resistant: The plant is less appealing to deer and rabbits, preventing damage from these animals.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Anemone sylvestris has traditionally been used for its potential anti-inflammatory properties, which might help in the reduction of inflammation.
    • Sedative: The plant has been used for its possible sedative effects to help induce relaxation or sleep.
    • Analgesic: There are suggestions of analgesic properties, meaning the plant might be used to alleviate pain.
    • Expectorant: Anemone sylvestris has been used as an expectorant to help in clearing mucus from the respiratory tract.
    • Antirheumatic: The plant has been associated with treating rheumatic conditions, likely due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
    • Emmenagogue: Historically, the plant has been used to stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus, causing menstruation.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Anemone sylvestris, known as snowdrop anemone, is sometimes used in eco-friendly dyeing processes to achieve subtle green and yellow hues on fabrics.
    • The plant's fibrous root system can help stabilize soil in areas prone to erosion, offering an environmental solution to this common problem.
    • In some traditions, snowdrop anemone has been dried and added to potpourris because of its gentle fragrance that is released when the flowers are crushed or brushed against.
    • Landscape artists commonly use snowdrop anemone for aesthetic purposes in garden design, especially in woodland and rock garden settings.
    • Due to its early bloom, snowdrop anemone provides nectar and pollen to emerging pollinators in the spring, making it a beneficial addition to conservation gardens.
    • Cultural symbolism often utilizes the snowdrop anemone; in some cultures, it has been used to represent anticipation and unfading love in art or literature.
    • The showy flowers of the snowdrop anemone can be used as a natural decoration in place settings, especially for springtime events and weddings.
    • Gardeners sometimes use the plant as a living mulch, as its dense foliage can spread to cover bare soil and suppress weeds.
    • When used in cut flower arrangements, the delicate appearance of snowdrop anemone can add an elegant touch to bouquets and indoor displays.
    • The flowering of snowdrop anemone can serve as a natural indicator for gardeners, signaling the start of the season for planting frost-sensitive plants.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Snowdrop Anemone is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Snowdrop Anemone is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Fragility: Anemone sylvestris, commonly known as Snowdrop Anemone, is often associated with the idea of fragility, possibly due to its delicate petals and gentle appearance.
    • Protection: In some cultures, the Anemone plant is believed to ward off evil and ill fortunes, symbolizing a shield or protection for individuals.
    • Anticipation: The blooming of the Snowdrop Anemone signifies the arrival of spring and is therefore symbolically connected to the sense of anticipation and the expectation of new beginnings.
    • Forsaken love: The flower is also linked to the tale of Adonis in Greek mythology, where Anemone was a symbol of the love Aphrodite had for him and the loss she felt when he died, hence symbolizing forsaken or unfulfilled love.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Snowdrop anemone needs to be watered regularly to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, especially during its growing season in spring and summer. Typically, watering once a week with about 1 to 1.5 gallons per plant should suffice, but this may vary depending on the climate and soil drainage. Ensure you’re watering directly at the base of the plant to avoid wetting the foliage, which can lead to fungal diseases. In hotter, drier periods, you may need to increase watering frequency, and conversely, reduce it during cooler, wet months to prevent overwatering.

  • sunLight

    Snowdrop anemone thrives in partial shade to full sun conditions. It does best in a spot that receives morning sunlight and is protected from the intense heat of the afternoon sun, which can be achieved under the dappled shade of trees or on the east side of a building. However, in cooler climates, this plant can tolerate more sunlight, while in hot regions, more shade will be beneficial to prevent scorching.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Snowdrop anemone prefers temperate climates and can generally tolerate a range of temperatures. The ideal growing temperatures are between 65°F and 75°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to about 20°F, and maximum temperatures should not consistently exceed 86°F for optimal growth. It's hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8, handling winter chills as long as the roots are well-insulated with mulch or snow cover.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning snowdrop anemone is primarily done to remove spent flowers and any dead or damaged foliage, which encourages new growth and can help prevent disease. Deadheading the faded blooms can also stimulate a second flowering in some years. Prune the plant right after flowering is over, usually in late spring or early summer, cutting back to just above a set of leaves. Additionally, any spring clean-up of dead foliage from the previous year should be done before new growth starts.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Snowdrop anemone thrives in well-draining, humus-rich soil with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 7.0. A mix of two parts garden soil, one part sand, and one part compost or well-rotted manure creates an ideal environment for this plant.

  • plantRepotting

    Snowdrop anemone typically does not require frequent repotting and can be done every 3-4 years to refresh the soil or address overcrowding.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Snowdrop anemone prefers moderate humidity but is quite adaptable and does not require specific humidity levels to thrive.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright, indirect light and keep soil moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, enrich soil with compost.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Anemone sylvestris, commonly known as Snowdrop Anemone, begins its life cycle with seed germination, which occurs in spring when the soil temperature increases. After germination, seedlings emerge and gradually develop a rosette of leaves during their first growing season, establishing a root system. In subsequent years, the plant produces more leaves and elongated stems, typically flowering in late spring to early summer with white blossoms. After pollination by insects, the flowers develop into fruiting heads that release seeds, ensuring the continuation of the life cycle. During autumn, the above-ground parts of the Snowdrop Anemone die back, while the underground rhizomes survive the winter. The plant re-emerges from these rhizomes each spring, completing its perennial life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • For the Snowdrop Anemone (Anemone sylvestris), the most popular method of propagation is division, which is best done in the fall or early spring when the plant is dormant, or immediately after flowering. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the clump while trying to minimize root disturbance, and gently tease apart the crowns, each with a portion of roots, using your fingers or a knife if necessary. These divisions can then be replanted in prepared soil, ensuring that the crowns are at soil level and spaced about 12 to 18 inches (approximately 30 to 45 centimeters) apart to allow for growth. Thoroughly water the newly planted divisions and keep the soil consistently moist until they establish. This method maintains the exact traits of the parent plant and allows for a relatively quick increase in the number of plants.