Monday, May 1, 2023

Anemone 'Macane001' WILD SWAN™ PP23132

Anemone 'Macane001' WILD SWAN™ PP23132 was kind of a smash hit when it hit the market about 10 years ago. Its white flowers with lavender sepal backs are incredibly stunning and offer a delicate looking addition to partial shaded gardens. 

This plant was the first in a series of new hybrids involving A. rupicola and A. x hybrida (the fall-blooming Japanese Anemones) from Elizabeth and Alasdair MacGregor of Kirkcudbright, Scotland. 'Macane001' turned up in a batch of seed collected from Anemone rupicola at their nursery. The A. rupicola was growing with A. x hybrida forms and the seedling showed some intermediate characteristics and hybrid vigor. 

The flowers start blooming in June and will bloom much of the summer like A. rupicola. But they are larger and held on taller stems more like A. x hybrida. The overall plant is larger like A. x hybrida, but makes a well-behaved mound like A. rupicola, whereas most A. x hybrida are rhizomatous spreaders. 

Hardiness was the big unclear factor when this new hybrid was introduced. Anemone rupicola is native to high elevations of Afghanastan into SW China and is generally hardy to USDA z6. Anemone x hybrida is hardy to at least USDA z5, with many cultivars hardy into z4. Originally marketed as a z6 hardy plant, I managed to get a plant to trial in z5 and it has performed beautifully, blooming June through August. I planted a few here in z4 in 2021 and they survived to 2022 and performed beautifully as well. It's still a bit early as of now to see how they survived this past winter. If for some reason they didn't survive, I will assume it's from moisture rather than cold. 

So far I haven't seen any seed produced nor have seedlings come up spontaneously. I've assumed that this group of hybrids would be sterile, but most of the newer introductions are multigenerational hybrids of A. rupicola x A. x hybrida crossed back to A. x hybrida. So it might just be that they aren't naturally pollinated or they need to be pollinated by A. x hybrida to set viable seed. I might have to attempt some crossings. 

For culture, the one in z5 is planted in sandy-loam on a NE corner of my in-laws house and grows with Hosta, Heuchera, Clematis, and several weeds seen in the picture below. My plants here are planted in our silt-loam with similar companions. In both cases they get partial morning sun and bright shade or dappled light the rest of the day. I think fairly well-drained soil is beneficial to survival, wet winters might be problematic but I'm not sure about that. 

I'm working on getting more plants from the series to trial here. I'm selling Elfin Swan this year and will plant some as trial. I need to get Dreaming Swan and Dainty Swan in the future. Hopefully they all prove equally hardy, but that's not a guarantee. I did try Dreaming Swan when I got my first Wild Swan; they were all grown in pots that first year and the Wild Swan overwintered while the Dreaming Swan didn't. They might be less cold hardy or more sensitive to winter moisture. They might survive in the ground better. I'll find out and report back.