Earlier to flower and hardier  than other Japanese anemones, this herbaceous perennial is native to  open grassy slopes in northern China.  Also known as windflower, it is a member of the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, that also includes delphinium, clematis, and hellebore.  Plants grow from  a fibrous root system and form a clump of basal foliage up to 2′ tall.  Each  dark green leaf is 10-12″ long, palmately divided into three-lobed and toothed leaflets that are thickly covered with woolly whitish hairs on their underside.  Stems are also covered with whitish woolly hairs.  From late summer to early fall,  cup-shaped flowers appear on 3-4′ long wiry stems.  Each flower is 2-3″ wide and has a center of yellow stamens surrounded by 5 or 6 showy tepals that are pale pink with darker rose shadings.  A good choice for borders, and informal landscapes such as cottage and woodland gardens.  Flowers are good in the vase.  The genus name, Anemone, is probably a corrupted Greek loan word of Semitic origin referring to the lament for the slain Adonis or Naaman, whose scattered blood produced the blood-red Anemone coronaria.  The specific epithet, tomentosa, is the Latin word meaning densely woolly, and refers to the hairs on the stems and leaf undersides.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom:  Pink with darker shading from late summer into fall

Size: 2-4′ H x 2-3′ W

Light: Part shade to full sun

Soil: Average, consistently moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 4-7

Care: May need staking

Pests and Diseases: Generally healthy but susceptible to leaf spot, powdery mildew, downy mildew, rust, leaf/stem smut, caterpillars, beetles, slugs and nematodes.

Propagation: Root cuttings in winter, division in spring, seed

Companion Plants: Maiden grass (Miscanthus), Joe pye weed, coneflower ‘White Swan’, Verbena bonariensis

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

By Karen