The genus Anemone consists of 120 species of perennial flowering plants, which grow from tubers. Anemones grow wild in many European countries, in North America, and Japan. Anemones are closely related to Pasque flower (Pulsatilla) and Hepatica (Hepatica); some botanists include both of these genera within the genus Anemone.
Facts About Anemones
- The name Anemone comes from Greek and roughly means wind flower, which signifies that the wind that blows the petal open will also, eventually, blow the dead petals away.
- The Anemone plants are perennial herbs with an underground rootstock, and radical, more or less deeply cut leaves.
- The elongated flower stem bears one or several, white, red, blue or rarely yellow flowers. There is an involucre of three leaflets below each flower.
- The fruits often bear long hairy styles, which aid their distribution by the wind. They produce cup-shaped yellowish, white, purple, violet, or red Anemone flowers.
- Among the most popular are the autumn-flowering Japanese Anemone (Anemone hupehensis).
- Yellow wood anemone (Anemone ranunculoides), also known as the Buttercup Anemone, is a similar plant with slightly smaller flowers of rich yellow colouring.
- In medicine, Anemone is used as a treatment for cramps, menstrual problems and emotional distress.
Varieties of Anemone
Broadly, there are three types of Anemone flowers-
- Spring flowering type, which has either rhizomes or tubers.
- Tuberous Mediterranean, which flowers in spring and summer.
- Larger Fall flowering type, which blooms in late summer to fall and tends to have fibrous roots.
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Popular species of Anemones and their common names are as follows:
- Anemone blanda - Blue Anemone
- Anemone coronaria - Poppy Anemone
- Anemone hupehensis - Chinese Anemone
- Anemone hupehensis var. japonica - Japanese Anemone
- Anemone narcissiflora - Narcissus Anemone
- Anemone nemorosa - Wood Anemone
- Anemone ranunculoides - Yellow Woodland Anemone/buttercup anemone
- Anemone sylvestris - Snowdrop Windflower
- Anemone canadensis - Canada Anemone
- Anemone fulgens - Scarlet Windflower
- Anemone pulsatilla - Pasque Flower
- Anemone apennina - Apennine Windflower
Different Anemones have different growing requirements. Most Anemones should be planted in the fall. If the planted Anemone is tuberous, separate the tubers in summer, when the plant is dormant. If rhizomatous, separate the rhizomes in spring. If the Anemone has fibrous roots, divide the plant in early spring or autumn but keep the plant in the pot for a year until established.
- Windflowers should be grown in very well-drained, moderately fertile soil in a lightly shaded or sunny location.
- Plant the tubers in the fall or spring, unless you live north of their adapted zones; in this case, plant in the spring.
- Before planting, soak the tubers for a few hours or overnight; if you soak them overnight, you will be able to see the slightly swollen areas from which shoots will grow.
- Plant the tubers 3 to 4 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart.
- If not sure which end is up, lay them on their sides.
Anemone Plant Care
- Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.
- For a neat appearance, remove old foliage before new leaves emerge.
- Divide clumps every 2 to 3 years in early spring.
- Cut right back to the ground in late Autumn. They will shoot away again in Spring.