Japanese Anemones for the Fall

August 29, 2016

The beauty of the Anemone flower is no recent discovery. Records of epic tragedy and romance are interwoven with anemones way back in the myths of ancient Greek gods and goddesses. In the filtered sunlight of our shade house, velvety, purple buds have perked up on their wiry stems, preparing for their big debut. A few blossoms have already opened to reveal their flirtatious poppy-like flowers. Soon, cheerful and elegant shades of pink, lavender and white will sweep the sea of green.

As is characteristic of the Buttercup family, Anemone flowers lack petals. The showy structures we see are actually petal-like sepals. The undersides of these sepals are fuzzy and the upper-sides glitter faintly in sunlight. At the center of each adorable bloom is a fringed golden-yellow ring, from which you may witness pollinators gathering nutrient-dense pollen. Single, semi-double, and double forms achieve different textures and moods in a perennial border.

The bushy branching pattern is reminiscent of dahlias, yet more restricted to a stout size between 1 – 3 feet high and wide. Forest green leaves resemble a cross between the foliage of strawberries and big leaf maples. Their fibrous root systems creep underground and take kindly to naturalizing themselves wherever you place them, sometimes with vigor depending on the cultivar.

Anemones are a low-maintenance selection to illuminate dappled sunlight or afternoon shade. Even spent flowers needn’t be removed, since they eventually add intrigue to the winter garden when seedheads transform into eye-catching, cottony, white tufts. Though a well-drained soil is imperative to prevent rot, remember to keep the soil steadily moistened. They are semi-evergreen and are quite cold hardy down to USDA Zone 4.

Devil Mountain currently offers over a dozen Anemone x hybrida cultivars. Please check our website for detailed descriptions, give us a call to talk with a salesperson about availability, or come to the nursery to see the blooms up close in Shade House 1.


(clockwise from top left: Anemone x hybrida ‘Margarette’, ‘Pocohantes’, ‘Pretty Lady Diana’, ‘Whirlwind’)