Few plants can send up a succession of flowers from August until late October and look elegant at every stage, whether tight bud, long-lasting flower or round seed head, but the Japanese anemone manage it. Beth Chatto was the first person to list it, in about 1980. It’s unusual because the flowers are made up of two smaller dark-pink petals and three slightly larger, paler ones, set against dark foliage. This two-tone effect gives the plant a shimmering presence in the border, a unique feature among Japanese anemones. The term Japanese anemone is misleading. A. hupehensis is a native of Hupeh province in eastern China, but it was grown in Japanese gardens for centuries, hence the confusion. Robert Fortune (1812-1880) introduced it into Europe in 1844, having discovered it running between the tombstones in a Shanghai graveyard. All plants given the species name hupehensis are distinctive; the five rounded, evenly spaced petals form branching heads of shaped flowers. There is also an excellent German variety bred by Wilhelm Pfitzer in 1902: ‘Prinz Heinrich’ has deep-pink, semi-double flowers and quilled petals. Height is 3–4 ft (1–1 m). Leaves have three leaflets. Flowers are 40–60 mm (1.6–2.4 in) across, with 5-6 (or up to 20 in double forms) sculpted pink or white sepals and prominent yellow stamens. These plants thrive best in shady areas and under the protection of larger plants, and in all but the hottest and the driest conditions in the United States. They are especially sensitive to drought or overwatering. Credit: The Telegraph, Wikipedia.