I recently returned from a trip to the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden and was thrilled to see large plantings of Japanese anemones. Japanese anemones are different from the spring flowering bulb anemones or the wildflower anemones. This Asian native is a hardy perennial that grows into a 2- to 4-foot tall beauty that flowers from August until frost. Depending on the variety, the flowers range from white to pink to a deep rose color. The daisy-shaped, single or double petaled blooms dance atop wiry stems and seem to float in the breeze. That's why this plant is also called the windflower. Most varieties, such as 'Bressingham Glow' and 'Honorine Jobert' stand 4 feet tall, but 'Whirlwind' is a good 2 foot tall variety that can even grow well in containers.
Japanese anemone is a great plant to pair with other fall blooming perennials such as monkshood, asters, sedum and goldenrod. It thrives in part sun on moist, yet well-drained soil. It can tolerate full sun as long as the soil stays evenly moist.
Japanese anemones have just dark green foliage until the flowers emerge in late summer. I love how the flowers last for weeks and are a magnet for bees and butterflies. They also aren't bothered by deer or other animals and insects.
Japanese anemones will spread over time by underground runners, so each spring you may need to cut back the clump so it doesn't invade into other plants. That's fine because you can take the divisions and plant this beauty in a wildflower meadow, along a stream or a pond and it will naturalize.