Japanese Anemone Plant Profile

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SILVER SPRING, MD

By Kathy Jentz, editor of Washington Gardener Magazine

Commonly known as Japanese Anemones — they actually come from China — the fall blooming anemones found in our gardens are usually hybrids of these three Asian species: A. hupehensis, A. tomentosa, and A. vitifolia. Anemones are often known as windflowers, because the genus name was derived from the Greek word for wind, anemos. The appellation is perfectly understandable once you see a anemone swaying gracefully in the wind on its tall bloom stalk.

In our area, these flowers, members of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), are usually to be found blooming from mid-to-late August through October. Some varieties, like A.tomentosa ‘Robustissima’ (that species’ most commonly found cultivar), flower in the earlier part of that bloom cycle, and by planting a variety of cultivars, a gardener can keep the show going for 12 weeks.

Not only are Japanese anemones good looking, they are also easy to grow and care for. Give them a spot in partial sun with bit of moisture and they will reward you with masses of flowers for years. These fall bloomers can even take full sun, as long as you make sure you keep them well watered. Now, like just about every other plant on the planet, your fall blooming anemones would prefer a well-drained soil, but they will gamely put up with our heavy clay based soil and look good doing so.

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