Anemone hupehensis v. japonica ‘Pamina’

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Robert Pavlis

Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’ is more commonly known as Japanese Anemone ‘Pamina’. Pamina flowers in fall for up to 2 months. A cold spell and even snow will not slow it down. It makes a great display in any situation from full sun to shade but does best in part shade.

Anemone hupehensis var. japonica 'Pamina'; photo by Robert Pavlis
Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’; photo by Robert Pavlis

The Japanese anemones all flower for a long period at a time when the garden needs some colour – that is their strength. Their weakness is that they tend to spread. I would not call them invasive, but they do come close. Pamina is no exception. They will form a nice tight blanket and keep weeds at bay.

I consider Pamina one of the best Japanese anemones. It is shorter than most, and has a nice deep pink colour. The Chicago Botanical Gardens evaluated a large number Japanese anemone varieties and did not give it high marks – I disagree, it is one of the best. The RHS has given it the ‘Award of Garden Merit’. Give Pamina a try – you’ll love it.

Anemone hupehensis var. japonica 'Pamina'; photo by Robert Pavlis
Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’; photo by Robert Pavlis

The nomenclature for these plants is very confusing. The plant was first brought to Europe from Japan and called A. japonica. It turns out that the plant is not native to Japan and originated from China. There are three similar species; A. hupehensis,  A.tomentosa and A. vitifolia. Hybrids amoung these are called A. x hybrida in part because the parentage of most hybrids is a bit fuzzy. Pamina is said to be a hybrid between A. hupehensis and A. vitifolia and some references call it A. hybrida ‘Pamina’. The more common name is Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’ . If you are shopping for the plant, look for a Japanese anemone called Pamina.

Anemone hupehensis var. japonica 'Pamina'; photo by Robert Pavlis
Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’; photo by Robert Pavlis

Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’

(uh-NEM-oh-nee hew-pay-EN-sis juh-PON-ih-kuh)

Life Cycle: perennial

Height: 1M (3ft)

Bloom Time: late August to late October

Natural Range: China

Habitat: open well drained sunny positions

Synonyms: Anemone japonica

Cultivation of Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’:

Light: full sun to full shade

Soil: very adaptable

Water: average moisture to dry

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 – 10

Propagation: cuttings, division, seeds probably don’t come true

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Robert Pavlis

I have been gardening my whole life and have a science background. Besides writing and speaking about gardening, I own and operate a 6 acre private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens which now has over 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees. Yes--I am a plantaholic!

2 thoughts on “Anemone hupehensis v. japonica ‘Pamina’”

  1. Hi Mr. Pavlis,
    I too like Pamina anemones. You write that Chicago Botanical Gardens evaluated a number of J.a. and did not give Pamina high marks, with which you disagree. I am surprised that a person with a background in science would “disagree” with the results of a field test. It is my understanding that the star ratings given are a composite of several features that are scientifically evaluated over several years. Do you think their methodology is faulty? I am very grateful that I can look to the CBG for what I trust to be unbiased data.
    In my experience, most plant information for the garden variety gardener is wildly inconsistent. I live in the city with many vertical constraints, around which moves an ever changing geometry of shade. I find that there are a lot of self proclaimed plant experts out there who do not know what they are talking about. Or, they know about their own little locality, and generalize about it. Unless you have your own greenhouse or grow your own plants from seed, (not so feasible in the city) in the U.S. you could be buying plants grown in Georgia, Oregon, Nebraska, or New England, which could be similar zones, but are all different climates.
    For the sake of time, money, and sanity, I have to choose my plants carefully. Over and over again, when I double and triple check sources for sun exposure, size, bloom time, etc., I find a maddening mishmash of contradictions.
    If only more institutions could provide the kind of objective reports for the general public that the CBG puts out.
    That doesn’t mean we have to slavishly adhere to the outcomes. We don’t have to buy the top rated car from Consumer Reports if we really love one that didn’t score as well.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with the public.

    • You are reading far too much into what I said. I did not disagree with their methodology, or even their conclusion. I did state an opinion on the quality of the plant.


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