Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Dirt on...

This week's feature plant certainly has history.  Venus considered this lovely fall-flowering plant sacred.  Its flower, held in high esteem by the Romans, was formed into wreaths for the head.  Shakespeare attributed magical love-producing power to this flower in his "Midsummer Night's Dream." 

Can you guess?  It's the Anemone (means wind flower).  In particular, the Japanese Anemone. 

Fall is usually given over to members of the daisy family - asters, chrysanthemums, and the like - but the Japanese Anemone is another fall gem.  These anemones are 2 to 4 feet tall perennials.  The deep green, deeply notched trifoliate leaves are basal with the much branched and many flowered stems held above the foliage. 

Japanese Anemones, members of the Ranunculus family, have 2 to 3-inch pink or white blooms, appear in late summer and early fall, and come in single or double flowering forms. 

Anemones lack true petals.  The showy portion of the bloom actually is the sepals.  The ring of yellow stamens surrounding a conspicous green button-like array of stigmas is an easy-to-spot characteristic of this plant. 

Japanese Anemones prefer compost-rich, loamy, uniformly moist conditions, have poor drought tolerance but are equally sensitive to winter-wet conditions.  They may be slow to establish but once happy in a location will be long-lived, carefree and spread. 

As General Sun Tzu, a 6th century BC military strategist, said "Know thy Anemone!"

1 comment:

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