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Anemone ranunculoides in flower
About 120; see text
Anemone (Anemone) is a genus of about 120 species of flowering plants in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae in the north and south temperate zones. They are closely related to Pasque flower (Pulsatilla) and Hepatica (Hepatica); some botanists include both of these genera within Anemone.
The plants are perennial herbs with an underground rootstock, and radical, more or less deeply cut, leaves. The elongated flower stem bears one or several, white, red, blue or rarely yellow, flowers; there is an involucre of three leaflets below each flower. The fruits often bear long hairy styles which aid their distribution by the wind.
Cultivation and uses
Many of the species are favourite garden plants; among the best known is Anemone coronaria, often called the poppy anemone, a tuberous-rooted plant, with parsley-like divided leaves, and large showy poppy-like blossoms on stalks of from 15-20 cm high; the flowers are of various colours, but the principal are scarlet, crimson, blue, purple and white. There are also double-flowered varieties, in which the stamens in the centre are replaced by a tuft of narrow petals. It is an old garden favourite, and of the double forms there are named varieties.
They grow best in a loamy soil, enriched with well-rotted manure, which should be dug in below the tubers. These may be planted in October, and for succession in January, the autumn-planted ones being protected by a covering of leaves or short stable litter. They will flower in May and June, and when the leaves have ripened should be taken up into a dry room till planting time. They are easily raised from the seed, and a bed of the single varieties is a valuable addition to a flower-garden, as it affords, in a warm situation, an abundance of handsome and often brilliant spring flowers, almost as early as the snowdrop or crocus.
The genus contains many other spring-flowering plants, of which A. hortensis and A. fulgens have less divided leaves and splendid rosy-purple or scarlet flowers; they require similar treatment. Anemone hupehensis, and its white cultivar 'Honorine Joubert', the latter especially, are amongst the finest of autumn-flowering hardy perennials; they grow well in light soil, and reach 60-100 cm in height, blooming continually for several weeks. A group of dwarf species, represented by the native British A. nemorosa and A. apennina, are amongst the most beautiful of spring flowers for planting in woods and shady places.
- This article is about the flower. For information about the ocean animal that was named after the flower, see sea anemone.