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Anemone blanda

Anemone blanda

This lovely, delicate blue Anemone seems to appear from nowhere in March, and treats us to a delightful carpet of flowers over several weeks. It thrives in Battleston Hill, the Wild Garden and the Rock Garden when spring gently nudges it into life.

Vital statistics

Common name
Winter windflower, sapphire anemone
Family
Ranunculaceae
Height & spread
15cm (6in) x 15cm (6in)
Form
Perennial
Soil
Well-drained, humus-rich to sandy
Aspect
Partial shade to full sun
Hardiness
Fully hardy

Anemone

Anemone is a genus of approximately 120 species of perennials found mostly in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

They can be divided into three groups:

  • those from woodland and alpine pastures which flower in spring
  • those from the Mediterranean or Central Asia where the summers are hot, which flower in spring or early summer;
  • the larger herbaceous species which flower from late summer to autumn.


The name anemone is often said to come from the Greek word anemos meaning 'wind'. However, it is more likely to be a corrupted Greek word, of Semitic origin, referring to the lament for slain Adonis or Naaman, whose blood produced the red A. coronaria.

Anemone blanda

From SE Europe and Turkey, this spreading perennial is great for naturalizing in a spring garden, at home in both woodland or in a rock garden. With colourful tepals arranged daisy-like around central yellow stamens, this pretty little plant bears solitary flowers in deep blue, white or pink. It spreads quite quickly to form large clumps.

At Wisley it thrives all over the woodland floor of the Wild Garden, Battleston Hill, and in the nooks and crannies of the Rock Garden.

Cultivation

  • Grow Anemone blanda in well-drained, humus-rich or sandy soil in partial shade to full sun.
  • Drier conditions are tolerated in summer when the plant is dormant.
  • Anemones are prone to leaf eelworms, leaf spot, powdery mildew, damage from slugs and snails and occasionally anemone smut.

Propagation

  •  Sow seed as soon as ripe in containers in a cold frame, though germination may be slow and poor.
  • Separate the knobbly tubers of A. blanda when the plant is dormant in the summer.

AGM

The RHS Rock Garden Plant Trials Assessment Panel awarded Anemone blanda an Award of Garden Merit and described it as a:

'Compact rhizomatous perennial to 15cm, with dark green leaves composed of three lobed and toothed segments. Flowers 3-4cm wide, violet-blue, pink or white, above three whorled stem-leaves.'

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