Anemone nemorosa ‘Allenii’
Silvery-blue stars with lilac stained backs, and rose flushed buds, make Anemone nemorosa ‘Allenii’ simply enchanting in late winter..
‘Allenii’ is a particularly large flowered and robust Wood Anemone.
So it has been treasured to this day, and handed from one gardener to another for all these years, since it first appeared in James Allen’s Somerset garden in the 19th century.
(Please see the “Growing” section below for plant details, how / where to grow).
Hardy groundcover under trees & shrubs
Anemone nemorosa ‘Allenii’ is a compact and dense grower, forming an excellent groundcover in Deep Shade or Dappled Light.
So it is perfect for woodland gardens, or under trees and shrubs, as Anemone nemorosa is a native plant of woodlands.
Handily, Anemone nemorosa also possess the magic trick of being able to withstand both summer dry and winter wet.
Easy, low care – heat, dry & frost resistant
Anemone nemorosa are easy, low care ground-covers, and make a perfect solution for low-maintenance gardeners with shaded gardens.
Firstly they cope well with dry shade once established; secondly bullet-proof frost hardy, water-wise, and drought resistant.
Plus the lush, dense foliage and thick rhizome roots, beat the weeds under trees and shrubs.
They are also heat resistant, as their tough rhizome root systems persist even if the foliage goes underground during tough summer times.
Anemone nemorosa are almost never troubled by pests or diseases, and rarely need any work.
Weed suppressing groundcover
If you ever get the chance to see the wonderful historic garden at ‘Bolobek’, Mt. Macedon, Victoria – you will see them used to perfection as weed suppressing carpets for dry shade.
Growing: Anemone nemorosa ‘Allenii’
– Height with flowers: Blooms at 20cm approx. and the star flowers beam up at you from well above the dense, low, foliage carpet. Then they open with the light.
– Width: Forms a dense, round carpet of foliage and rhizomes to a diameter of 60cm approx.
– Position: Happy in all types of shade, so plant where there is Deep Shade to Dappled Light or Morning Sun.
Carpeting the ground under evergreen or deciduous shade is “the happy place” for an Anemone nemorosa.
– Soil: Anemone nemorosa enjoy the leaf litter and mulch that naturally occurs under trees.
So they are remarkably dry hardy in the shade, once established, and quite unfussy about soil type and pH.
Hence they will thrive in either an acid or an alkaline (lime) soil, tolerating limestone country, as well as the acid conditions with Rhododendrons and Camellias.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees and other beneficial pollinators are very grateful for the late winter blooms.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: The nibbling furry pests don’t like them, because the plant contains a chemical which burns their mouths if they take a chomp.
In fact Anemone nemorosa is generally free of all pests and diseases.
Hardy & tough
– Frost: Bullet-proof frost hardiness, as they can withstand even severe frosts to well below -20C.
– Water-wise: Remarkably dry hardy, with low water needs during summer. But also able to tolerate winter wet. Magic!
– Growth: Perennial ground-cover, but will have a defensive summer dormancy in hot conditions.
So don’t be alarmed if the foliage dies away in the summer – it will be back, and the rhizomes will hold the fort in the meantime.
– Care: Virtually care and work free if planted in the shady place.
Hardy woodland dweller
– Native origin: Anemone nemorosa is native to widespread areas of Europe, from cold and wet northern Europe, to hot and dry Turkey, indicating that it is hardy and adaptable to a wide range of conditions.
With a colourful history
– Host of funny names: Anemone nemorosa has acquired a wealth of wonderful common names over the centuries. Including “thimbleweed”, “smell fox” (the foliage does have a musky scent when crushed and this helps to deter rabbits and deer). Plus “Lady’s Nightcap”, and “Old Woman’s Nest”; “Moonflower” and “Wood Crowfoot” (the rhizomes do look a little like Crow’s feet).
– Romantic botanical name: The botanical name “Anemone” derives from Greek and means “daughter of the wind”, while “nemorosa” comes from the Latin word “nemus” meaning “forest”.
So the botanical name says it all.