Anemonopsis macrophylla is one of the most beautiful and elegant plants that you could wish for. A very choice woodland perennial that is found only in a few montane woodlands in central Honshu, Japan.
This lovely perennial comes into growth early in the spring just after the last Snowdrops have finished. The leaves emerge first and slowly expand to make a mound of growth 35 to 55cm (14 to 22in) tall, rarely larger and always controlled by the amount of water, shade and humidity available, the foliage is shorter and less luxurious if the plants are too dry. Each leaflet comprises of three leaflets each with three deep divisions which adds interest to the late summer-early autumn flowers.
From July onwards to about September it bears nodding, opalescent white flowers on slender elegant spikes that hover over the leaves to a height of around 70cms (28in). Each delicate flower is comprised of three outer lilac sepals and up to ten inner white petals that form a rounded cup-shape. On closer examination the flower can be seen to be infused with amethyst-violet on the tips of the petals. The delicate blooms glow in the dense shade that they thrive in
Anemonopsis macrophylla is slow growing and rarely seen, but this emphatic woodlander is not in fact difficult to grow if given humus-rich, semi-shaded conditions. Totally hardy and long-lived, these fabulous plants need careful sighting. A position that is sheltered from drying winds, with a leaf or peat-rich, moist but well-drained soil will bring it to perfection.
It cannot tolerate full sun without the leaves scorching, except perhaps in very cool, damp climates. It does not like dryness at the roots or in the air, although it likes good drainage as well as water.
Sowing: Sow seeds immediately upon receipt at any time of the year.
Sow in a seed tray containing moist seed compost. Press the seeds gently into the surface and cover with fine grit. Keep the seed tray moist in a cold greenhouse or shady corner and do not discard. The seeds depend on having several months, sometimes up to a year in cold, damp compost, before they will germinate. Patience will be needed as they can be very slow to germinate but do not use any artificial heat in an attempt to germinate them as it may simply disrupt their germination mechanism causing them to enter even deeper dormancy.
Keep a check on the compost to make sure it does not dry out. When the seedlings are large enough to handle transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots and place in a cold frame. After the first season, plant out 45 to 60cm (18 to 24in) apart in moist, well drained soil in sun or part shade.
Remember that this is a rare and valuable plant so give the seedlings some attention and treat them with care. Like many other herbaceous perennials from Japan, Anemonopsis demands summer moisture, but resents excessively wet conditions in winter. Take time to find the best position for the small plants and see that they have enough water so that they are able to establish themselves. Incorporate a little leaf mould into the hole before planting.
Anemonopsis looks best when planted in large clumps, as their wiry stems can form a cloud of blossoms. The plants are self-fertile, and an isolated plant will set modest amounts of seed. If sown in containers as soon as ripe and the seed containers exposed to winter chilling, germination will occur the next spring. Unlike some members of the Ranunculaceae, which are notorious for their seeds remaining viable only for a very short time, Anemonopsis seed retains its viability in storage to a reasonable degree.
Shade areas and Woodland Gardens
Anemonopsis, is a monotypic genus in the family Ranunculaceae, containing only the species Anemonopsis macrophylla. This beautiful woodlander is quite rare and found in the wild in a very limited area on Japan's main island of Honshu.
The generic name Anemonopsis refers to it being Anemone-like. The word opsis meaning ‘similar to’ or ‘like’.
The specific epithet macrophylla means ‘large-leaved’.
It has the common name of the False Anemone.
When in full bloom, the flowers resemble small lotuses, giving rise to its Japanese name of Renge-shoma (meaning ‘lotus-shoma’). Its name is from the Japanese ki-renge-shoma, which might be translated as 'the yellow lotus flowered woodland herb with compound serrate leaves'. In turn, the genus Kirengeshoma is named after it.
- Additional Information
Average Seed Count 15 Seeds Family Ranunculaceae Genus Anemonopsis Species macrophylla Common Name False Anemone, Renge-shoma Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers White with amethyst-violet tips Natural Flower Time July to September Foliage Mounded green, deeply divided leaves Height Foliage to 55cm (22in), Flowers to 70cm (28in) Spacing 45 to 60cm (18 to 24in) Position Semi-shaded and sheltered from drying winds Soil Humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil