Anemone x hybrida “Whirlwind” – Japanese Windflower
This is perennial herbaceous plant with flower spike rising to around a metre, above a mass of grapevine-like leaves. This plant will spread steadily over the years, through the rhizomatous roots. These extensions of the previous years plant may easily be removed with a spade and relocated or given to a friend. It is particularly useful in providing interest in late summer, when many other garden plants are fading.
Anemone x hybrida is a hybrid of Anemone hupehensis var. japonica and Anemone vitifolia. A. hupehensis is native to central China, though it has been naturalised in Japan for hundreds of years. A. vitifolia is indigenous across the Himalayas. In the wild these Anemone are found in open mountain woodland.
Soil / Aspect:
A. x hybrida prefers rich, well-drained soils and at least part-sun. However, in cultivation this plant has found a niche in sunny, dry spots where other perennials struggle. It is also somewhat salt-tolerant and has the useful feature [for some] of being deer and rabbit resistant.
A. x hybrida can be slow to establish, so keep it watered and fed in its first year. Once established this plant has a [justified] reputation for being invasive – Whirlwind is much better behaved in this respect. It has no significant problems with pests or diseases. The only routine maintenance is to cut it down in winter. In Karin’s Garden the leaves stay green for most of winter, so the timing of this task is generally determined by how long you feel the old flower stalks are an attractive presence in your garden.