The name Anemone is rooted in Greek. An means ‘to blow’ and a derivative of this is anila which means ‘the wind’. Hence the common name Windflower.
Just To Clarify
Anemones come in both rhizome (perennial) and tuberous (tender bulb) forms. Here’s which are which.
- A. blanda Tuber. Flowers in early spring
- A. canadensis Rhizome. Flowers in spring
- A. coronaria Tuber. Flowers in early spring
- A. x hybrida Rhizome. Flowers late summer to fall
- A. multifida Rhizome. Flowers in spring
- A. nemerosa Rhizome. Flowers in spring
- A. sylvestris Rhizome. Spring
Note – all the rhizomes are “spreaders” (Which is another name for saying “this plant never met a garden it didn’t want to take over.) Lovely to look at but it comes with that warning).
Cultural Details For Perennial/Rhizome Plants
- Bloom time: Mid to late fall
- Height: 24” to 36”
- Sun needed: Full to part shade
- Hardiness: USDA 4
- Bloom color: Pinks, rose, white
- Planting space: 18” to 24” apart
- Soil preferred: Evenly moist but well-drained. It will thrive in cooler (part-shade) soils. No special pH needs
- Propagation method: Division is easiest
Anemone hupehensis This is a late summer or early fall blooming Anemone that is native to Chinese meadows and wood edges. Light shade produces the best blooms in North American gardens as the high summer heat shortens the bloom time. Grows 24 to 30” tall.
Common varieties include:
- ‘Bowles Pink’ Single pink to rose
- ‘Bressingham Glow’ deep rose-pink
- ‘Hadspen Abundance’ pink-rose centers with darker and/or lighter petals (depending on age of blossom)
- ‘Pamina’ semi-double rose pink
- ‘Splendens’ purple-pink flowers and earlier than other varieties
Anemone x hybrida These hybrid forms bloom late summer and early fall.
- ‘Alice’ semi-double blooms in light pink. 24” tall
- Honorine Jobert’ pure white and 36” tall
- ‘Margarete’ pure pink and double flowers to 36” tall
- ‘Pamina’ a deep rose-pink single flower to 30”
- ‘Prince Henry’ deep rose-pink small, semi-double flowers and 36” tall
- ‘Queen Charlotte’ pink semi-double flowers and 36” tall
- ‘September Charm’ light pink, 24 to 36” tall one of the latest to bloom
- ‘Whirlwind’ white, semi-double flowers and 36 to 48” tall
The autumn flowering Anemone are mostly plants of damp, open woodland or meadows. This means they like sun or dappled shade and moist but not waterlogged soils. They will grow quite nicely on average garden soils but do not like heavy clays. I’ve grown them in medium shade under a crab apple tree and they continue to spread and make a nuisance of themselves under there. They require regular edging to keep them in bounds as they do like to spread.
These plants are one of the must-have plants for the fall gardens. I simply can not imagine my garden without them. They provide a late season shot of pink and rose in the middle of the yellows and reds of autumn and if for no other reason than that should by on your shopping list. Their ease of growth and disease-free growth habit also endears them to my gardening heart.
Potions and Poisons
This plant has a long history of medicinal and legend associated with it. The root is an irritant and somewhat poisonous although older herbals recommended it to be chewed as a purgative. In other words, chew it and you’ll throw up. The leaves are acrid and vinegar has been made from them; there are also reports of cattle being poisoned by eating them according to old herbals. This taste is likely to deter any child eating it so it is not likely to be a problem. Having said that of course, it is likely wise to keep very small children away from roots if you are transplanting or working with this plant.