Anemone ‘Wild Swan’.
Pure white, cupped flowers, 7-9cm, with a contrasting purple-blue reverse to the petals, held on branched stems well above lush spreading foliage. Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ is ideal to lighten 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. It is not as invasive as some Japanese Anemones.
Under the loose title of Japanese anemones you can find several different species All late flowering and from the far East. They variously 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 he could rely on A. ‘Honorine Jobert’ 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. As a bonus, they also cut very well for decorating the house. In the past, the purity of the white varieties has been noticed by card manufacturers. They sometimes cheekily 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. It 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.