Here are the larger, Autumn flowering windflowers collected together for you to compare.
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Large 5-petalled flowers of a rich pink, the outermost pair a much stronger hue, like velvety crimson. A boss of bright orange-yellow stamens completes the effect. Height to 90cm. Late Summer-Autumn. The flowers of this variety exhibit the same slightly lopsided character as in the related Hellebores three of the petals are true and the two are in fact petaloid sepals.
- Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Rotkappchen’ (‘Little Red Riding Hood’). A really short variety which punches well above its weight. The cupped flowers are a rich dusky pinky-red with numerous narrow petals, intensifying the yellow of the anthers at the centre.
A good sound old variety of Anemone with generously sized semi-double flowers of a rich, rosy mid-pink. Possibly a little darker than ‘Margarete’ and a little more unruly in outline. As a hupehensis variety it is not as tall as some of the hybrids, growing about 60-90cm tall.
A short and delicate Anemone with bright rich pink, very double flowers which are slightly cupped with richer colour on the outside and in the centre. In form, the flower is rounder in outline and in its component parts than the similar A. ‘Prinz Heinreich’.
- Anemone x hybrida ‘Queen Charlotte’ (Anemone x hybrida ‘Konigin Charlotte’). The large semi-double flowers are open saucers of glowing sugar pink, fading paler towards the central ring of rich chrome yellow anthers. Easily grown in soil that is not too dry. A lovely last fling before Winter. 90cm, August-September. Bred over one hundred tears ago in 1898, but still a firm favourite.
This cultivar was raised by Bristol Nurseries in 1932 and is a fine example of its type, being free flowering and a good clump former. In colouring and shape it is quite close to Anemone hupehensis being a more colourful and more robust form. Grow best in an open site in a soil that retains some moisture. 90cm
A real beauty with semi-double very large flowers of lovely shape and form. It is almost white suffused with soft rose-pink, becoming stronger flushed and edged on the reverse. Each flower has 12 individual petals which are arranged with great fineness, particularly beautiful when viewed from behind as the rich colouring is most apparent and you can best appreciate the way the petals curve and arch a bit like a waterlily. Tall and robust. Loreley was a Siren who sat on a granite outcrop near the town of St. Goarshausen in the Rhine Valley. From there she would lure passing sailors with her song. So bewitched they would ground their ship and perish ‘neath the waters.
- Anemone ‘Wild Swan’. Pure white, cupped flowers with a contrasting purple-blue reverse to the petals, held on branched stems well above lush spreading foliage. Ideal to ligthen semi-shaded borders. Voted best new plant at The Chelsea Flower Show 2011. As it’s flowering starts at the end of May with a second later flush, A.Wild Swan’ is in flower at a time when other large Anemones are not. 45 x 60cm
- Anemone x hybrida ‘Andrea Atkinson’. Pure white saucers with a central green button, ringed with egg yolk anthers. A beautiful site as the abundance of flowers dance in an Autumn breeze – an accent of purity amongst the fading colours of Autumn. One of the most vigorous of the Anemones, an improvement of Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’. 90cm, Late Summer.
- Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’. Pure white saucer flowers with golden centres on strong tall stems make this a gem for early Autumn. Grows in a wide range of soils; flowering best in sun providing it isn’t too dry at the root. 150cm. Apt to spread. This must be a first rate variety, it was bred over 150 years ago in 1858 and it is still one of the most popular.
This variety has a kinship with A. ‘Honorine Jobert’ and A. ‘Andrea Atkinson’, but instead of the flower being composed of a few broad petals, each flower is made up of up to 25 narrower overlapping petals. Despite being semi-double, the rich golden yellow ring of stamens remains along with the spherical green central style. The reverse of the outer petals is stained pink, a colour which just shows through as a flush to the centre on the inside. The fullness of petals gives the buds a distinctive fullness as does the heavy ruff of leafy bracts behind them. It is also common for a flowering stem to carry several flowers closely packed at the end. The main flower tends to face upwards, with the subsidiary flowers being forced to look out. A tall verity at 90cm plus.
Under the loose title of Japanese anemones you can find several different species, all late flowering and from the far East. They include varieties of A.hupehensis, A.vitifolia, A.tomentosa and A.x hybrida. Specifically Japanese Anemones are forms of the hybrid; Anemone x hybrida, sometimes sold under the incorrect name of Anemone japonica it is the result of the cross between Anemone hupehensis var.japonica and Anemone vitifolia. It is a delight of the Autumn garden, producing stalwart colour right at the end of the season. E.A.Bowles was a fan and said that A.’Honorine Jobert’ could be relied upon to produce colour for nearly three months of the year.
The lovely wide open saucers of the Japanese Anemones, with their button centres and ring of bright yellow stamens, last well in the garden, but also cut very well for decorating the house. In the past, the purity of the white varieties has been noticed by card manufacturers who sometimes substitute the blooms for Christmas Roses on their cards when photographic schedules preclude finding the real thing.
The Japanese Anemones will grow in a wide variety of situations from sun (with moisture) to quite heavy shade and also in a wide range of soil types. They will produce their strongest growth and best display on a sticky and slightly limey soil. In a sandy soil they will run the most. For preference they like a cool soil, well cultivated and with plenty of organic matter.
Anemone hupehensis will grow in sunnier, drier conditions where it will flower earlier, but with smaller flowers of poorer quality.
Anemone hupehensis was first introduced by Robert Fortune in 1844.
Anemones are called the Windflowers, with the genus name deriving from the Greek ‘anemos’ = wind, a name that goes back to the Ancient Greeks.