Anemone palmata

Jane McGary
Mon, 21 Apr 2003 15:30:03 PDT
Janet Galpin wrote,
>This seems to match all other reports except oddly a curiousl entry by
>Farrer in 'The English Rock Garden'. He wrote, "Contrary to
>expectations, A. palmata is perfectly hardy in England, and though in
>nature a drought-loving species, it even makes happy shining masses in
>weeping Westmoreland. It is a plant, accordingly, of conspicuous value
>for the garden, where room can be allowed for it to spread, in some
>sunny bank of deep rich soil, assisted with a little sandy peat, and
>perfectly drained. But, indeed, even in Lancashire, one sees it growing
>freely as a border plant on warm exposures".
>This was 1928, so I am not sure what has become of all these banks of A.
>palmata in Lancashire!
>Have you found that it needs to be kept quite dry?

It may need to be drier than it would be without overhead protection here,
where average annual rainfall is about 45 inches, all between October and
June (its growing season), but I don't dry it out hard. It is in the same
frame as a lot of Narcissus and Fritillaria species and gets a little water
all through the summer (about every 2 weeks), and is evenly moist all
winter. The plants that failed outdoors were hit with a spell of 5 degrees
F (about minus 15 C) in December; they put up very short flowering stems
and then died having barely opened the flowers. By contrast, plants in the
frame start producing flowers on tall stems in February and continue
through May.

I'll try to get some rhizomes out to growers in California this summer and
also make available some of the copiously set seed. This is one of the
Anemone species that bears seed wrapped in cottony fibers, usually a sign
that the seed remains viable in dry storage; those without "fluff" on the
seeds mostly should be considered to have brief viability. A. oregana and
A. deltoidea are of the latter type, perhaps the reason for their scarcity
in cultivation.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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