Windflower (Anemone blanda)

While these spring-blooming windflowers (Anemone blanda) are still weeks away from blooming, their bright coloration now in photos will give us a hint of spring yet to come!  Also called Grecian windflowers, these fall planted bulbs (actually tuberous rhizomes) will emerge early in April with 2″ wide blossoms opening up quickly at a height of less than 6″ in height.  I’m showing both blue and white selections in these images but there are also some pink forms which we don’t currently have at RBG.  We finally planted a pink selection last fall so I’ll get some photos this spring!  I’ve always enjoyed this early bloomer for having high impact color and it’s nice to see early pollinators visiting them as well.  They bloom early enough that they can be incorporated in to areas that later become “shady” gardens with the leaf canopy filling in later.  At the point of their spring blooming, they would be getting ample sunlight.

Native to Southeastern Europe, Greece and Western Turkey, the tuberous rhizomes of this plant are readily available, easy to plant (2-3″ down and 4-5″ apart) and quite affordable.  Some folks recommend soaking them in water overnight before planting although we’ve never done that approach.  While it is difficult to tell the top and bottom of these rhizomes, toss them in and they will be fine!  We plant them even closer in colonies and will excavate out a shallow depression and place 20-30 of these in close proximity.  After they finish blooming, the foliage ultimately turns yellow in late May and goes dormant and disappears.  Let them go to seed as they will spread both by seed and the rhizomes will expand and multiply as well.  We’ve had windflowers blooming in the same locations for many years and will keep adding this spring gem throughout the gardens.