Whether ushering in the early summer months or sprucing up any tired summer display with their refreshing late season color, Anemone (uh-NEM-oh-nee) is a vast grouping of plants sure to brighten up the landscape. Native to temperate and subtropical regions of all continents except Oceania and Antarctica, Anemone, or windflower, of the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, offer a variety of appearances in the garden, including Snowdrop Anemone, Japanese Anemone, and the North American native, Canada Anemone.
Snowdrop Anemone, Anemone sylvestris, is a lightly fragrant, delicate white flower with a golden yellow center floating atop textured green foliage on wiry stems, native to temperate meadows and woodlands of Europe and Asia. Growing up to 18” tall and spreading 12” wide, Snowdrop Anemone flowers from mid-spring to early summer and thrives in moist, well-drained soils in part sun or dappled shade, spreading by rhizome and seed to form lush colonies over time.
Japanese Anemone, Anemone x hybrida, is a tall, showy fall bloomer native to China and cultivated in Japan for hundreds of years, performing best in well-drained, moist soils in part sun, and tolerant of full sun conditions if plants are kept evenly moist. Reaching 24-36” round and blooming from late summer into fall, Japanese Anemone send out tall, graceful, branching flower stalks topping 48” tall above textured green foliage in many colors including the delicate pink flowers of ‘September Charm’ and the timeless white flowers of ‘Honorine Jobert.’
Canada Anemone, Anemone canadensis, native to North America including Minnesota, is a superb native groundcover, growing 12-24” round with tolerance for light foot traffic and juglone produced by black walnut trees. Preferring moist, well-drained soils in areas of full to part sun with some shade tolerance, Canada Anemone is a tremendous addition to any woodland or shade garden. Canada Anemone blooms beautiful white flowers with cheery yellow centers in late spring through early summer, whereafter their interesting green foliage remains through the remainder of the season, great for smothering unwanted weeds. This Anemone can serve as a great native groundcover and develop into a healthy colony over time or can be divided or deadheaded after flowering to prevent unwanted spread and seed dispersal.