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Anemone nemorosa


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Anemone nemorosa

Bright stars beam up in late winter from Anemone nemorosa.

Anemone nemorosa is a particularly compact and dense growing form of Anemone, but equally as robust as the rest of family. And it blooms on well into spring.
(Please see the “Growing” section below for plant details, how / where to grow). 

Hardy groundcover under trees & shrubs

Anemone nemorosa forms an excellent mat of groundcover in Deep Shade or Dappled Light.
So it is perfect for shaded gardens, or under trees and shrubs, as after all is a native plant of ancient woodlands.
Handily, it also possess the magic trick of being able to withstand both summer dry and winter wet.

 Heat, dry & frost resistant 

Anemone nemorosa are easy, low care ground-covers, and make a perfect solution for low-maintenance gardeners struggling with growing things under big trees.
Firstly, Wood Anemones cope well with dry shade once established; secondly, they are bullet-proof frost hardy;  water-wise; and drought resistant.
Plus the lush, dense foliage and thick rhizome roots, beat the weeds under trees and shrubs.

Easy, low care

They are also heat resistant, as their tough rhizome root systems persist even if the foliage goes underground during tough summer times.
Anemone nemorosa are almost never troubled by pests or diseases, and rarely need any work.
Even rabbits and deer wont touch them.

Weed suppressing groundcover

If you ever get the chance to see the wonderful historic garden at ‘Bolobek’, Mt. Macedon, Victoria – you will see Anemone nemorosa used to perfection as weed suppressing carpets in dry shade.


Sow any time indoors in punnets, or scatter directly in garden in autumn and winter.

INDOORS: Sow seeds in a punnet on the surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Then gently pat the seeds to the surface of the mix, to ensure good contact.
And barely cover the seeds with sieved mix.

Thoroughly moisten the mix by standing the punnet in a shallow water bath.
And allowing the moisture to percolate up to the surface of the mix from below.

Now cover the punnet with a light proof lid, as these seeds need dark to germinate.

Place the moist, sown punnet in a cool place (right away from direct sunlight).

Seedlings emerge in approx. 28-35 days.

Give it the cold treatment

Cooler temperatures of no more than 18C. are best for rapid and optimum germination.
And Anemone nemorosa seed really does respond well to cold treatment, while heat sends the seeds into natural dormancy.
So some people prefer to sow it in the autumn, cover the punnet with wire to prevent critters disturbing, and park it in a cool, shady place outdoors to let the cold of winter and nature’s good time do the job.

However if the seeds are shy to germinate within 35 days – it means the seeds are dormant and definitely need a period of chilling (a pretend winter) to break their sleep.

So wrap the moist, sown punnet in cling-wrap or a plastic bag, and keep in fridge (not freezer) for 4-6 weeks.
Then remove from fridge, unwrap and return to a cool place with temperatures not above 18C.
Continue to keep the punnet dark with a cover, and continue to keep moist as needed.

Seedlings emerge in approx. 28-35 days.

SEED COUNT: 8 seeds per pack of this rare and highly desirable plant.

GROWING: Anemone nemorosa

Height with flowers: Blooms at 15cm approx. and the star flowers beam up at you from well above the dense, low, foliage carpet. Then they open with the light.
Width: Forms a dense, round carpet of foliage and rhizomes to a diameter of 60cm approx.
Position: Happy in all types of shade, so plant where there is Deep Shade to Dappled Light or Morning Sun.
Carpeting the ground under evergreen or deciduous shade is “the happy place” for an Anemone nemorosa.
Soil: Wood Anemones enjoy the leaf litter and mulch that naturally occurs under trees.
So they are remarkably dry hardy in the shade, once established, and quite unfussy about soil type and pH.
Hence they will thrive in either an acid or an alkaline (lime) soil, tolerating limestone country, as well as the acid conditions with Rhododendrons and Camellias.

Critter resistant

Beneficial for wildlife: Bees and other beneficial pollinators are very grateful for the late winter blooms.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: The nibbling furry pests don’t like them, because the plant contains a chemical which burns their mouths if they take a chomp.
In fact Anemone nemorosa is generally free of all pests and diseases.

Hardy & tough

Frost: Bullet-proof frost hardiness, as they can withstand even severe frosts to well below -20C.
Water-wise: Remarkably dry hardy, with low water needs during summer. But also able to tolerate winter wet. Magic!
Growth: Perennial ground-cover, but will have a defensive summer dormancy in hot conditions.
So don’t be alarmed if the foliage dies away in the summer – it will be back, and the rhizomes will hold the fort in the meantime. 
Care: Virtually care and work free if planted in the shady place.

Woodland dweller 

Native origin: Anemone nemorosa is native to widespread areas of Europe, from cold and wet northern Europe, to hot and dry Turkey, indicating that it is hardy and adaptable to a wide range of conditions.

With a colourful history 

Host of funny names: Anemone nemorosa has acquired a wealth of wonderful common names over the centuries. Including “thimbleweed”, “smell fox” (the foliage does have a musky scent when crushed and this helps to deter rabbits and deer). Plus “Lady’s Nightcap”, and “Old Woman’s Nest”; “Moonflower” and “Wood Crowfoot” (the rhizomes do look a little like Crow’s feet). And of course the most commonly used “Wood Anemone”.
Romantic botanical name: The botanical name “Anemone” derives from Greek and means “daughter of the wind”, while “nemorosa” comes from the Latin word “nemus” meaning “forest”.
So the botanical name says it all.

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