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Japanese Anemone

There are many members of the genus "anemone" but every gardener, who values perennials that bloom in autumn, should have some Japanese anemones.

These are tall perennials with wiry branching stems that hold their dainty flowers aloft. They are hardy to zone 5 but can be grown as far south as zone 8. They are easily grown in most soils but need some shade from hot sun.

Flowers come in light and dark pink as well as white, and there are both single and double forms. Cut them back when they have bloomed to keep them from seeding as they have a tendency to be invasive. Luckily they can be readily yanked out, though you may want to give them a place of their own where they don't overwhelm other plants.

The blooms have a ring of gold stamens in the center and the dark green foliage looks good all summer. I love "Honorine Jobért" an heirloom plant, with single white flowers that I cherish for their simplicity and purity of form.

Robert Fortune, a nineteenth century plant explorer first found a pink anemone "japonica" growing near Shanghai, and distributed it widely. Later the species name "Japanese Anemone" resulted from the fact that it grows profusely in Japan. It is our good fortune that they also grow profusely here.

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