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Flower of the Hour – Japanese Windflower – Anemone Robustissima

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Japanese Windflower

Japanese Windflower

One of the most beautiful perennials in my garden captures the late summer air in it’s grasp and makes the beds smile. Really. As one of the hardiest Japanese Windflowers, the Anemone Robustissima – (tomentosa) is a wonderful plant, and quite easy to grow.

Anemone Seed Puff

One of the joys of the winter garden has been watching the Anemone’s delightful little seed puffs. Fuzzy, like cotton, the seed puffs are built for easy distribution by riding the wind. While I have had this patch of Anemone’s for almost five years, this is the first winter I have seen the seeds and am quite excited to see if I have newborn baby anemone’s all over my garden in the spring.

Anemone Robustissima

Japanese Windflower

Hardy from zones four until eight, Anemone Robustissima was slow to get established in my garden. For two seasons it seemed very water hungry. However, now it is one of the hardiest, densest, drought tolerant plants I have and requires very little attention. Generally speaking, this particular perennial is wet and drought tolerant. Attracts bees and butterflies, and is also deer and rabbit resistant.

All season the foliage adds interest and a deep green background for my other blooming perennials. Than suddenly in late August tall panicles shoot up nearly two feet above the foliage. By September, gorgeous pink flowers are waving delicately in the wind – hence the name “Windflower” – and they become the talk of the town. Very few perennial flowers bloom so late in the season, so this wonderful plant gets a lot of positive attention when it shows up in my garden. The bees absolutely adore the flowers; their little legs become so heavy with the golden dust from the Anemone’s flower, I find it amazing they can even fly.

If you want a smile in the garden, plant Anemone Robustissima this season!

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  1. Thanks Tessa – the leaves are gorgeous! I think it is the hardiest of the Anemone’s and has been a real joy in my garden!


  2. Oh I absolutely LOVE this anemone! It really surprised me in my garden the last 2 summers. I had planted it several years earlier and had forgotten about it. 2 summers ago, the green stalks & leaves came up, and I didn't think it was all that attractive. It ended up blooming later in the season, but the blooms didn't get my attention 'seriously' until LAST summer, when WOW! It just produced them left and right! It lasted at least until the end of Sept. and I realized then what a beauty this plant is! After it was finished blooming and the stalks dying back, I separated a section of it and transplanted it into several other areas of my garden. I have no idea if it will ever take in those places. I also hope that I didn't disrupt the plants happy existence by messing with it!

  3. I absolutely love this plant. My late Grandmother gave me a cutting from her exotic garden 10 years ago. I moved from the NSW to QLD 4 1/2 yrs ago and gave it to a close friend who nutured it… it had stems over 1m tall. I have finally bought a house and she not long gave me a cutting so I'm about to plant it in my Japanese garden. Can't wait for it to become established again.

  4. To the australian – how far back do you cut this plant? I assume to the ground? If so how long before it starts spouting new growth? Cheers

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