18 Feb 2012

In the Spotlight: Anemonopsis macrophylla

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Of all my rare and unusual beauties, none other bring me to my knees than this precocious and beguiling beauty! Perhaps so because in order to fully appreciate its ethereal beauty, one does indeed have to be on bended knee!

Anemonopsis macrophylla with its nodding, waxen flowers of light lavender begin blossoming in the late days of June and continue throughout most of July. These demure flowers are held on striking ebony stems, which at maturity can attain heights of 0.6m. Its striking ferny clump of pinnate  greenish-blue tinted foliage is the denouement within the plant world! A monotypic genus, this single species is endemic once again to the mountainous woods of central Honshu, Japan, where it remains extremely rare.  It is hardy to Zone 5, most notedly where summers remain cool.

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As noted planthunter Daniel Hinkley notes rather pointedly in his cultivation notes: '... this species does not politely ask for a sheltered and cool location - it DEMANDS it!' it is wise to heed his words to the note! The diminutive flowers and smashingly elegant foliage will scald if exposed to full sun and wind, even when provided with supplemental watering and a rich edaphic environment. As I have noted, it too is s-l-o-w to establish itself in the garden - as of yet, my single specimen has yet to break the 25cm height, and has flowered exactly three times in one season! Of course this is half the fun is it not? I spent two years searching it out, another one in finding the precisely perfect spot for it, and during this time it has rewarded me exactly three times. But OMG, the rewards of being up close on bended knee....... PRICELESS!



CanadianGardenJoy said...

Barry this truly is a stunning beauty ! and the foliage sounds fantastic as well .. I would love to have this in my shade garden too .. perhaps some day !
Joy : )
PS .. sorry sweetie .. nothing in the lottery yet again .. but the pots are bigger ? LOL

cheryl said...

She's a darling Barry and looks so delicate. Reminds me of a hosta I have, the name long lost. Tiny leaves and spreads like wildfire. The stalks are 8" high with the most tiny blooms. They would suit each other nicely