As days grow shorter and summer blooms begin to fade, Japanese anemones come into their full glory. With oversized leaves and tall stems bearing charming flowers, Japanese anemones make a bold statement in your autumn garden.
Japanese anemones are members of the ranunculus family. With their cup-shaped blossoms with few petals, they resemble several other members of this popular family such as windflowers (spring-blooming anemones) and buttercups.
With a bloom time as long as six to eight weeks, Japanese anemones are one of the stars of the late-season garden. Japanese anemones demand your attention as they bear blooms on stems that can reach up to four feet in height! In addition to pure white flowers, they grow in rosy shades ranging from pale, baby pink to a medium lavender hue. Some varieties may also exhibit subtle tone-on-tone stripes.
To call these flowers “Japanese” is actually a misnomer, as they are native to China, where they were once frequently found growing near graves. Their longevity in bloom, coupled with their believed ability to ward off evil, made them ideal as memorials for the tombs of the beloved departed.
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Japanese anemones got their common name after having been “discovered” by Europeans in Japan, where they had been cultivated for several centuries. The simple, elegant blossoms are typical of the types of graceful flowers that are often portrayed in Japanese art.
Japanese anemones are considered easy to grow and they can spread vigorously once established. These flowers prefer partial shade (4-6 hours of sun per day) and well-drained, rich soil. They can be difficult to divide by splitting the root, so propagation by seed is suggested. The seed pods are cheerful, yellow fuzzy spheres that are left behind after the petals have fallen.
In addition to being beautiful and easy to care for, Japanese anemones are a great choice for the garden because they are quite sturdy. They are naturally resistant to insects and common botanical diseases. They are also unappetizing to hungry rabbits, and not very desirable to deer.
If you have a friend who laments the end of the gardening season, Japanese anemones would be a thoughtful gift to extend the garden’s bloom time by several weeks. Perhaps you have planted a memorial garden in honor of a loved one who has passed on. Japanese anemones would be an excellent addition by which to remember that special someone. No matter the occasion, these charming blossoms will be a treasured part of any autumn landscape.