DESCRIPTION: Height up to 30cm. A charming flower heralds the onset of spring. The delicate white flowers have 5 to 7 petals borne on a long stalk. The underside of the flower is usually flushed pink. The whorls of 3 deeply divided, palmate leaves are located just above halfway on the stem. The flower reacts quickly to light changes. Usually found in carpeting groups. DISTRIBUTION: Widespread throughout.HABITAT: Deciduous woodland except where damp or extremely acidic. FLOWERING TIME: March to May. EXTRA NOTES: Other names include thimbleweed, smell fox and helmet flower. Ancient herbalists used the name Wood Crowfoot, because its leaves resemble in shape those of some species of Crowfoot. We also find it called Smell Fox. The specific name of nemorosa refers to its woodland habits. All parts of the plant contain a toxin called Protoanemonin which can cause numerous symptoms such as gastrointestinal problems, burning mouth and throat, mouth ulcers, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and even blood in the vomit. The plant is used for domestics purposes by using the leaves mixed with vinegar. Culpepper suggested that an ointment made from the plant was useful in treating inflammation of the eyes or mouth ulcers.
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