Heritage confusion…


Japanese Anemone copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Japanese Anemone copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

This favorite flower of mine, The Japanese Anemone, turns out to have been misnamed. Its heritage turns out to be Chinese, later it wandered from Japanese gardens and naturalized there hundreds of years ago. I’m unsure if these images are of A. hupehensis var. japonica or A. ¥hybrida the two fall blooming species that can easily naturalize in my Midwest American perennial garden. But I look forward to their delicate flowers toward the end of each summer all the while knowing their arrival also means that summer days are waning.

It seems appropriate to allow, actually choose, non-native perennials in my garden. I live in the famed “melting pot”, the United States where heritage is celebrated but also more and more hybrid with each generation. I am hybrid myself of German, English (though Irish was found further down that tree) with some Alsace Lorraine (which could have come from France or Germany). My students boast they are Mexican but when talking with them they have shared that parents and/or grandparents came from many other countries before arriving in Mexico. Makes me wonder at what point a family claims a country as their “own”. When do family members change from being “immigrants” or “aliens” to “natives”?

Fall blooming Japanese Anemone copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Fall blooming Japanese Anemone copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

I will not go into the politics of acceptability except to say that tolerance is debated by both plant experts and citizens, of whom both, plants and people, are at their core non-natives. Any confusion of heritage is actually evidence of prosperous variety that ensures continual freshness in our experiences and vistas. Celebrate whoever you are.

For more information on the Japanese Anemone found in the Chicago region:

https://www.chicagobotanic.org/downloads/planteval_notes/no25_anemones.pdf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s