Plant Common Name
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Representing a group of flowering herbaceous perennials, most of which are hardy, Anemone comprises nearly 200 accepted species and many more varieties in the buttercup family. Anemones exist in temperate zones worldwide on all continents except Antarctica. The greatest abundance of species are in North Temperate regions. Many sport highly showy flowers, so there are many garden-worthy species that may bloom anytime from spring to fall and even winter.
Most anemones are deciduous and rise and spread from variously shaped rhizomes. Leaf morphology varies widely: leaves may be simple, palmate, pinnate, and on rare occasion scale-like or absent. The consistently radial flowers are comprised of four, five or more showy petaloid sepals that come in shades of white, yellow, pink, purple or violet; in rare instances the petaloid sepals are absent. A flush of many filiform or linear pollen-laden stamens fill the center of the blooms in addition to several or numerous pistils. Each pistil has one ovary with one ovule. The fruits are achenes that are generally ovoid or almost round, on rare occasion they may be flattened.
Culture and garden performance are species dependent. They can thrive in moist soils, dry soils and everything in-between. Some grow best in full sun while others are best grown in shade. There are tame anemones that grow slowly while others proliferate and spread with zeal. Be sure you understand the cultural needs and bloom time of any anemone species before planting it.
Some of the better-known anemones for the garden include the colorful, fall-blooming Anemone hupehensis and Anemone x hybrida, both of which spread quickly and require regular division. Favorite spring bloomers include the delicate white Anemone sylvestris and brightly colored Anemone blanda and Anemone coronaria.