Anemone x hybrida ‘Queen Charlotte’ (‘Konigin Charlotte’)
The large semi-double flowers of Anemone x hybrida ‘Queen Charlotte’ (‘Konigin Charlotte’) 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 years ago in 1898, but still a firm favourite.
‘It has taken possesssion of rather more of the garden than I desired, but it is so lovely that I cannot bring myself to root any of it out..’ – E.A.Bowles
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.