Japanese Anemone Flower: Meaning, Symbolism, and Colors

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Belonging to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, the Japanese Anemone flower is a species of flowering plant in the genus Eriocapitella. It is native to Asia. It is found in the Eastern Himalayan region of Assam, Nepal, and Tibet; in the East and Southeast Asia, in China, Taiwan, and Myanmar. The biological name of the Japanese Anemone flower, Eriocapitella Hupehensis, refers to its place of origin. The name Hupehensis means “from Hupeh” or Hubei province, China. The Chinese calls this flower as “da po wan hua hua” meaning “broken bowl flower”.

The Japanese Anemone flower is a perennial plant. The root structure is like a rhizome with the stem about 11.81 to 39.37 inches (30 to 100 cm) long. The stem is wrapped around with a whorl of 3 leaves. The leaves are silky with lobed, undivided, or parted leaf blades. The edges are toothed. The flowers are saucer-shaped with a single or multiple layers of sepals. The Japanese Anemone flower has no petals. The flowers are about 3 inches wide with bright yellow stamens in the center. They come in shades of white, purple, purple-red, or pink.

The Japanese Anemone flowers are easy to grow and maintain. They are late-flowering herbaceous plants. They bloom during late-summer and autumn, dying back in winter and again re-sprouting in late-spring. The Japanese Anemone flower loves partially shaded areas but can tolerate full sun. It thrives in well-drained soil, in sand, clay, loam, and chalk. It grows in USDA zone 4 to 8. The Japanese Anemone flower prefers moist soil. The soil around the plants should be mulched each year to keep it moist. It requires regular watering when it is not raining. The watering must be done slowly for the soil to absorb water as much as possible.

There are many varieties of the Japanese Anemone flowers. They bloom in varying shades of white, pink, and purple. Some common Japanese Anemone flower varieties are:

  1. Anemone Hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ – These are white with silky sepals. They grow up to a height of 39.37 inches (100 cm).
  2. Anemone Hupehensis ‘Pamina’ – These are a clump-forming variety with divided foliage in dark green. The flowers have double layer of sepals in deep pink shade.
  3. Anemone Hybrida ‘Whirlwind’ – These are pure white flowers blooming from August to September.
  4. Anemone Hupehensis ‘Red Riding Hood’ – These flowers bloom in magenta to deep rose-pink. The leaves are round or oval shaped. They are divided into three toothed lobes.
  5. Anemone Hupehensis ‘Cinderella’ – These are single layer flowers in rose-pink hue.
  6. Anemone Hupehensis ‘Jasmine’ – These are single layer flowers in dark pink hue. The leaves are same as those of the Anemone Hupehensis ‘Cinderella’.
  7. Anemone Hupehensis ‘Pocahontas’ – These are rose-pink flowers with double layer of sepals.
  8. Anemone Hupehensis ‘Belle’ – These are semi-double layer of flowers in dark pink shade.

The leaves of the Anemone Hupehensis ‘Cinderella’, Anemone Hupehensis ‘Jasmine’, Anemone Hupehensis ‘Pocahontas’, and Anemone Hupehensis ‘Belle’ are dark green, oval and palmate, with toothed edges.

What do Japanese Anemone flower symbolize?

The Japanese Anemone flower meaning and symbolism originates in Greek mythology. The name “anemone” means “windflower” in Greek. It has been so named due to the fact that the flowers open to full bloom only when the wind blows. There is also another myth surrounding the Japanese Anemone flower meaning. It is said that when the Goddess of love, Aphrodite, was mourning the death of her lover, Adonis, the Anemone flowers came into being from her tears.

The most noteworthy symbolism of the Japanese Anemone flower meaning can be said to be anticipation. The way the flower always closes up at night and re-opens in the morning symbolizes anticipation for something to happen or arrive. There is another legend attached to the closing and opening of the flower. It is believed that fairies hide inside the sepals of the Anemone flower and closes them up if rain comes down.

In the Victorian language of flowers, the Japanese Anemone flower meaning signifies fragility and a forsaken love.

In China and Egypt, the Japanese Anemone flowers are considered to symbolize illness. In Europe, the flowers are used to ward off diseases.

What do the various colors of the Japanese Anemone flower mean?

The Japanese Anemone flower comes in white, pink, and purple. Each of the colors lends a different symbolism to the Japanese Anemone flower meaning.

White Japanese Anemone Flower:

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The white Japanese Anemone flowers are very delicate in their appearance. They symbolize sincerity and fragility.

Pink Japanese Anemone Flower:

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The pink Japanese Anemone flower symbolizes a forsaken love or death.

Purple Japanese Anemone Flower:

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The purple Japanese Anemone flowers are believed to ward off ill wishes. They symbolize protection against evil.

Interesting facts and characteristics of the Japanese Anemone flower

Apart from many legends and stories attached to the Japanese Anemone flower, there are some very interesting facts about it, too.

  • The Japanese Anemone flower is native to China and not Japan despite its name.
  • The Japanese Anemone flower is known as “fall-blooming” anemones as they bloom very late, during August to October.
  • In China, the Japanese Anemone flower has been in existence, at least, since the 17th Century.
  • The two cultivars of the Japanese Anemone flower, Eriocapitella Hupehensis ‘Bowles’s Pink’ and Eriocapitella Hupehensis ‘Hadspen Abundance’ have received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • There is very little to no fragrance in the Japanese Anemone flowers.
  • The Japanese Anemone flower was used widely in traditional folk medicine all over the world. It was used to treat stomach pains and menstrual cramps.
  • The Romans used the Japanese Anemone flowers as a remedy to heal bruises and fever.
  • This flower has anti-inflammatory, sedative, analgesic, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.
  • The Japanese Anemone flower has also been used in traditional medicine to treat dysentery, malaria, ulcers, arthritis, hepatitis, and parasitic diseases.
  • These flowers last pretty well after being freshly cut which makes them a favorite for bridal bouquets and wedding centerpieces.
  • After freshly cut, the stems of the Japanese Anemone flowers should be re-cut at an angle for better intake of water.
  • After placing the freshly cut flowers in water, they should be placed in medium-light, at a place which remains cool. They should be placed in cool water to extend their lives.

Best time to gift someone Japanese Anemone flowers

As the Japanese Anemone flower meaning symbolizes anticipation, it makes the flower a perfect gift during marriage or the birth of a baby. Gifting a bouquet of Japanese Anemone flowers as a get well gift or good luck gift conveys the message of wishing better times.

As a late bloomer, the Japanese Anemone flower gets to put on a stunning show when almost all the flowers stop blooming. These flowers spruce up the gardens and borders, adding a shot of vibrant color with their white and pink and purple blooms.