1996 32¢ Anemone
Winter Garden Flowers
Issue Date: January 19, 1996
City: Kennett Square, PA
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Perforations: 10.9 vertical
According to Greek legend, Anemone was the name of a nymph who was loved by Zephyr, god of the West Wind. Flora, the goddess of flowers, who loved Zephyr, was jealous of Anemone and changed her into a flower that always bloomed before the return of spring. No longer in love with Anemone once she was a flower, Zephyr abandoned her to Boreas, god of the North Wind. Anemone never came to love Boreas, although he could stir her emotions, which caused her to bloom too early and fade too quickly. In fact, the name anemone actually comes from the ancient Greek word meaning wind.
Although anemones grew wild in parts of Europe and the Middle East, many of the cultivated varieties came from a French botanist who obtained anemone plants in the early 1600s. For ten years he carefully guarded the delicate bell-shaped flowers, refusing to sell any of the plants or seeds. One day a famous horticulturist came to visit the Frenchman and “accidentally” dropped his coat on the seed-laden plants. The seeds that stuck to his coat he took home and planted, generously sharing the plants and seeds that resulted. Today, the anemone continues to thrive in the wild, as well as being cultivated as a popular garden flower.