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All parts are poisonous if ingested.



Anemone includes a rich and varied group of plants ranging in size from alpine rock garden miniatures to tall Japanese anemones grown in borders; bloom extends from very early spring to fall, depending on species.

Most of the anemones described here have fibrous roots or creeping rhizomes or rootstocks, but Anemone blanda, Anemone coronaria, and Anemone x fulgens are grown from tubers requiring special attention. Set out Anemone blanda in fall; where winter temperatures drop below –10°F/–23°C, apply a thick mulch after first hard frost. Plant Anemone coronaria and Anemone x fulgens in fall where they are hardy in the ground; in cooler regions, plant in early spring. In warmer climates, some gardeners soak tubers for a few hours before planting.

Plant tubers scarred side up (look for depressed scar left by base of last year’s stem), setting them 1–2 in. deep and 8–12 in. apart in rich, light, well-drained loam. Or start in flats of damp sand; set out in garden when stems are a few inches tall. Keep soil moist during growth and bloom. Protect from birds until leaves toughen. In high-rainfall areas, excess moisture induces rot.

Tuberous types are best treated as annuals in rainy-summer or warm-winter climates, where they tend to be short lived. Tuberous anemones make good container plants.

Anemone blanda
Anemone blanda

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Anemone blanda

Native to southeastern Europe. This plant is grown from tubers requiring special attention. Set out Anemone blanda in fall; where winter temperatures drop below –10°F/–23°C, apply a thick mulch after first hard frost. In particular, this needs distinct winter chill for good performance. Tubers produce spreading mat of finely divided, softly hairy leaves (clumps are wider spreading in colder climates). In spring, each 2–8-in. stem bears one sky-blue flower, 1–1 1/2 in. across. There are also many selections with 2-in. flowers in blue, white, pink, and purplish red on 10- to 12-in. plants.

Anemone coronaria

Grows from a tuber. Species is rarely seen in gardens; it has been replaced by showy large-flowered hybrids valued for cutting and for spectacular spring color in borders or mass plantings. Blossoms are 1 1/2–2 1/2 in. across, borne singly on 6–18-in. stems above finely divided leaves.

Anemone nemorosa
Anemone nemorosa

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Anemone nemorosa

European native to 1 ft. high, with creeping rhizomes, deeply cut leaves, and inch-wide white spring flowers held above the foliage. Spreads slowly to make an attractive woodland groundcover. Many named varieties exist, some with blooms in pink or blue.

Anemone tomentosa

Vigorous, fibrous-rooted Tibetan native often sold as Anemone vitifolia ‘Robustissima’. Foliage resembles grape leaves, grows in a spreading clump that gives rise to branching, 3 1/2-ft.-high stems bearing single pink flowers in late summer, early fall. Allow 3 ft. between plants. Partial shade.

Anemone x hybrida (photo courtesy of Bob Wigand)
Anemone x hybrida (photo courtesy of Bob Wigand)

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Anemone x hybrida

Long-lived, fibrous-rooted perennial indispensable for fall flower color. Graceful, branching stems 2–4 ft. high rise from clump of three- to five-lobed leaves covered with soft hairs. Single or semidouble flowers in white, silvery pink, or rose. Many named varieties are available.

Slow to establish, but once started it spreads readily if roots are not disturbed. Space plants 2 ft. apart. May need staking. Mulch in fall where winters are severe. Increase by divisions in fall or early spring or by root cuttings in spring. Effective in clumps in front of tall shrubbery or under high-branching trees.

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