March 2008 Plant Profile: Anemone nemorosa x nemorosa ‘Vestal’

Another early season charmer, this sweet little ground hugger has captivated avid gardeners for years and we’re fortunate to have several clumps of this spring ephemeral under the new Shade Bed under the large Oak in the Soest Garden. Topping out at only 6 inches in height and forming a clump about a foot wide, the tight buds burst into pure white with a single row of guard petals encasing a central tuft of frilly pompoms. When not in bloom, this plant is almost inconspicuous as the early foliage is often difficult to detect and, after flowering, the plants lay dormant over the summer not coming up until the following spring.

Anemone nemorosa can take a few seasons to settle in after planting. Known as the “Wood Anemone” because of its stick-like rhizome, these thrive best in part sun with adequate moisture. However, these have also thrived underneath the Oak for years with very little irrigation. As delicate-looking as these plants are, they are adaptable and relatively carefree once they’re established.

Family: Ranunculaceae
Origin: Garden Origin
Height: 4-6 inches
Spread: 10-12 inches
Bloom Time: Late March-April
Bloom Color: Pure White
Sun: Part Sun
Water/Soil: Moist-well drained. Fairly drought tolerant once established.