This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Perennial herbs. Leaves all radical, variously lobed and dissected. Flowers showy, blue, white, red, purple, or yellow. Scape usually 1-flowered, with a 3-leaved involucre distant or closer under the calyx. Sepals 4 to 10, petaloid. Petals undeveloped. Stamens numerous, outer ones sometimes petaloid. Carpels numerous, 1-seeded; seed pendulous. A large genus, whose species are chiefly confined to the northern hemisphere. A few reach South America and South Africa, and one is found in Australia. The Greek name of one of the species. We may conveniently divide the cultivated species into two sections, though other species not in cultivation connect these two sections. .
§ 1. Involucre close under the sepals having the appearance of a true calyx, especially as the sepals are petaloid, Hepatica.
1. A. Hepatica, syn. Hepatica triloba (fig. 4). - This familiar little plant with its glossy trilobed leaves and numerous blue or pink or white single, and blue or pink double flowers, is an almost indispensable adjunct to the flower garden. Found wild in mountainous districts of Central and Southern Europe. Begins to bloom in February.
Fig. 4. Anemone Hepatica. (1/3 nat. size.)
2. A. angulosa. - A distinct and handsome hardy plant. Like the preceding, it grows in dense tufts, but this is a taller species with larger sky-blue flowers. Leaves hairy when young, on long petioles, deeply 5-lobed; lobes rounded or acute. Flowers more than an inch in diameter. Scape twice as high as the leaves. A native of Hungary, flowering in March and April.
§ 2. Involucre distant from the sepals.
The true Anemones may be subdivided into two classes. The first including the species from which the numerous garden varieties have descended, and the second the remaining ornamental species. The florists' varieties are believed to be the offspring of the two next species, and crosses between them.
3. A. Coronaria. - The Poppy Anemones of our gardens belong to this species. Both this and the next have spreading flowers in the single varieties, and are very similar in general appearance. The foliage of this form or species is of a more delicate texture, and the flowers of one uniform colour, or at least without a distinct eye. The varieties, both double (fig. 5) and single, are numerous and beautiful, of various shades of purple, violet, and almost a pure blue, rose, pink, and white. A native of the Levant.
Fig. 5. Anemone Coronaria flore pleno. (1/3 nat. size.)
4. A. hortensis, syn. A. stellata. - To this species belong the varieties called Star Anemones. In this the sepals are more distinctly spreading, and the wild form is distinguished by having the centre or eye of the flower of a distinct colour. The flowers are usually of a bright red with a white eye; but the cultivated forms are numerous, and it is supposed that some are hybrids of this and the preceding. In the typical plant, too, the leaves are more coriaceous, with broader lobes than in the foregoing. From the South of Europe, and, like the last, a valuable Spring-flowering plant.
5. A. fulgens. - This is probably no other than a variety of the last, though sufficiently distinct to be kept separate here. It has larger deep crimson flowers with obovate sepals. A. pavonina is an abnormal variety of the same plant, in which the sepals are very narrow and numerous, of a bright scarlet or rosy pink colour. A native of the South of Europe, blooming in April and May.
6. A. Japonica. - A very beautiful plant, as the name denotes, from Japan, and much taller than any of the preceding species. It grows from 2 to 3 feet high, with simple stems and large bluntly-lobed leaves. The flowers are large, rose or white, produced towards the end of Summer. A very desirable and effective species. The plant called Honorine Jaubert is a form of this.
7. A. elegans (fig. 6), syn. A. hybrida. - Differing from the preceding in its greater stature, larger leaves, and less brightly coloured flowers. Also an Autumn-flowering plant. Possibly the result of a cross between No. 6 and the Himalayan A. vitifolia, or simply a variety of Japonica.
8. A. Pulsatilla (fig. 7). Pasque-flower. - A very pretty indigenous species with dull purple flowers and long feathery styles. Under cultivation it grows about a foot high, with flowers 2 inches in diameter, sepals usually 6, outer stamens reduced to glands. May.
9. A. sylvestris. - A beautiful pure white-flowered species from Central Europe and Siberia. It has something the habit of No. 6, but is not more than half its size. The flowers are over an inch in diameter, and very profuse in a shady habitat.
10. A. ranunculoldes. - Leaves ternately compound. Sepals 5, bright yellow, hairy outside. Styles not bearded. A hand-some plant, allied to the common Wood Anemone. South of Europe. April.
11. A. nemorosa. Wood Anemone. - This familiar inhabitant of our copses and woods should be introduced into shrubberies and parks where it does not exist, being one of the handsomest of our native Spring flowers. Sepals 5, glabrous, white or tinged with purple.
Fig. 6. Anemone elegans. (1/4 nat. size.)
Fig. 7. Anemone Pulsatilla. (1/3 nat. size.)
12. A. Apennina. - Sepals numerous, bright azure blue. Leaves and involucre ternate. April. This is naturalised in some parts of Britain. A. blanda is a near ally of this.
13. A. palmata. - A yellow-flowered species with reniform obtusely lobed leaves and numerous narrow sepals. It grows about 9 inches high, and is a very distinct and beautiful plant. A native of the South of Europe, flowering in May. There is a white and also a double variety of this species.