Anemones are great late-season bloomers in the perennial border. They produce 2- to 3-inch-diameter, single or double flowers on 2- to 4-foot-tall plants. The flowers come in a range of colors, from white to carmine red, and bloom from July until frost.
The Chicago Botanic Garden has been trialing various groups of perennial plants for more than 12 years. For the past 6 years they've tested 26 varieties of anemones to find the best ones for their USDA zone 5 climate.
The anemone varieties that performed best in their trial for length of bloom season, growth habit and health, and hardiness were Anemone hybrida 'Andre Atkinson', 'Max Vogel', and 'Serenade'. 'Andre Atkinson' is a 3-foot-tall plant with white flowers and a creamy yellow center. 'Max Vogel' and 'Serenade' both produce pink flowers with yellow centers. 'Max Vogel' grows about 4 feet tall, while 'Serenade' grows to 2 feet tall and has a strong, spreading habit as well.
Other anemone varieties that performed well include Anemone hupehensis 'Splenden' (2-foot-tall, rose-pink flowers) and Anemone japonica 'Prinz Heinrich' (2-foot-tall, double, pink flowers).
For more information, go to: Chicago Botanic Garden Plant Evaluation Program.