I should have known when she handed me the bag and laughed that I was in for a surprise. "These are easy to grow", she offered. "I have them everywhere," she warned. I did not take the hint, too enthralled with my sack of green to listen carefully. Pretty flowers that would grow in dry shade. My heart pounded and my stomach clenched. I was in love.
Anemone canadensis grows effortlessly in dry shade near the southeastern native, Bowman's Root (Gillenia trifolata).
I dug a hole, stuck them in, and they grew. They thrived. They bloomed. They took over and I am no longer in love. As a matter of fact, they drive me crazy. They devour other plants like horticultural hippos, suffocating them with their insistent growth then blooming like fools to advertise their slaughter. I rip them out by handfuls but the stems merely break off at the surface as their roots remain securely fastened to the soil.
Euphorbia, epimediums, bigroot geraniums, Solomon Seal, brunnera, and a fern have all battled these beautiful beasts and only a few emerged as victors. "Out!" I shout as my shovel sinks deep into the dry earth, but the anemone roots are indistinguishable from all the other roots and the war is over before it's begun.
The anemones' motto