Anemone canadensis

Canada Anemone

Canada Anemone, Photo © by Earl J.S. Rook
Canada Anemone
Photo © by Earl J.S. Rook

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The natural history of the northwoods


  • Anemone, an ancient Greek and Latin corruption of the Semitic name for Adonis, from whose blood the red-flowered anemone of the Orient is said to have sprung.
  • canadensis, from the Latin, "of Canada",
  • Canada Anemone from the botanical name
  • Other common names include


  • Kingdom Plantae, the Plants
    • Division Magnoliophyta, the Angiosperms (flowering plants)
      • Class Magnoliopsida, the Dicotyledons 
      • Subclass Magnoliidae
        • Order Ranunculales, the Buttercups
          • Family Ranunculaceae, the Buttercups, with Actaea, the Baneberries, Clematis, Coptis (Gold Thread), Delphinium (Larkspurs), Hepatica, Ranunculus (Buttercups), and Thalictrum (Meadow Rues).
            • Genus Anemone, the Anemones. Approximately 150 species worldwide, primarily in cooler temperate and arctic regions; 25 species in North America
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 18436
  • Also known as Anemonidium canadense


  • A ¼, ½, ¾,  º, é
  • A perennial
  • Leaves basal, simple, and deeply divided
    • Petiole (leafstalk) 8-22(-37) cm;
    • Blade orbiculate, 4-10 ?5-15(-20) cm, base sagittate to nearly truncate, margins serrate and incised on distal 1/3-1/2, apex acuminate, surfaces puberulous (more so abaxially); segments primarily 3, lanceolate to oblanceolate; lateral segments again 1?lobed or -parted (proximal lobe occasionally lobed again); ultimate segments 10-30(-35) mm wide.
  • Stem Aerial shoots (15-)20-80 cm, from caudices on rhizomes, caudices ascending, rhizomes ascending to horizontal.
  • Roots
  • Flowers bisexual, radially symmetric;Inflorescences 1(-3+)-flowered, rarely cymes; peduncle puberulous to villous, distally densely villous; involucral bracts 3 (secondary involucres with 2), remotely subtending flowers, (1-)2-tiered, simple, ?similar to basal leaves, broadly obtriangular, 3-cleft, 3-10 cm, bases broadly cuneate, connate, margins sharply, irregularly serrate and incised on distal 1/3-1/2, apex acuminate, surfaces puberulous, more so abaxially; segments 3, lanceolate to oblanceolate; lateral segments unlobed or 1?lobed; ultimate lobes (8-)10-15(-20) mm wide.Inflorescences terminal, 2-9-flowered cymes or umbels, or flowers solitary, to 60 cm; involucres present, often with primary involucres subtending inflorescences, and secondary and tertiary involucres subtending inflorescence branches or single flowers (primary, secondary, and tertiary involucres appearing to be in tiers), involucral bracts 2-7(-9), leaflike or sepaloid, distant from or close to flowers. Flowers sepals not persistent in fruit, 4-20(-27), white, purple, blue, green, yellow, pink, or red, plane, linear to oblong or ovate to obovate, 3.5-40 mm;, distinct, plane, obovate to elliptic, 1.5-2 mm; nectary present; pistils many, simple; ovule 1 per pistil; style present.
    • Sepals (4-)5(-6), white, obovate, (8-)10-20(-25) ?5-15 mm, hairy or glabrous
    • Petals absent
    • Stamens 80-100stamens 10-200; filaments filiform or somewhat broadened at base; staminodes absent between stamens and pistils;
    • Pistils
    • Ovary superior (within blossom) inferior (below flower) 
  • Fruit achenes, aggregate, sessile or stalked, ovoid to obovoid, sides not veined; beak (persistent style) present, sometimes rudimentary, terminal, straight or curved, to 40(-50) mm, sometimes plumose.
  • Seed Heads of achenes spheric to ovoid; pedicel 7.5-11.5 cm. Achenes: body obovoid to ellipsoid, (2.5-)3-6 ?3.5-6 mm, winged, strigose or glabrate; beak straight, 2-6 mm, strigose, not plumose.
  • A caudex, as the term is used here, is the "woody," perennating base of an aerial shoot (inflorescences and basal leaves). The word tuber refers to a swollen, more or less vertical underground stem. The aerial shoots arise from the apex of either of those persistent structures. Rhizome, as the term is used here, refers to an underground, usually horizontal stem (more or less vertical in Anemone piperi ), that is nearly uniform in diameter (about 1-4 mm diam., depending on the species) along its length. Aerial shoots arise directly from nodes at or near the apex of the rhizome.

    Many species of Anemone have only one type of underground stem. Some species, however, have both rhizomes and caudices. In such cases the aerial shoots arise from the apex of a caudex attached to the rhizome. Some other species sometimes have both tubers and rhizomes. In those, one or more horizontal rhizomes arise near the apex of the tuber; the aerial shoots arise from the apex of the tuber.



  • Identifiable as
  • Distinguished from
  • Field Marks


  • Alaska to Newfoundland,
  • Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.; Colo., Conn., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.Dak., Ohio, Pa., S.Dak., Vt., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.


  • Damp thickets, meadows, wet prairies, lake shores, streamsides, clearings, occasionally swampy areas;



  • Trees: 
  • Shrubs:
  • Herbs: 
  • Ground Covers: 
  • Mammals
  • Birds:


  • Various parts of Anemone canadensis were used medicinally by Native Americans in the treatment of wounds, nasal hemorrhages, eye problems, and sore throats, to counteract witch medicines, and as a general panacea.



  • Sexually by seed
  • Flowers 
  • Assexually by


  • By rhizome division,


  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3 (average minimum annual temperature -40ºF)
  • Cultural Requirements
    • Light:
    • Soil:
    • Water:
    • Spacing:
    • Fertilization
  • Size 12"-18"W x 12"-18"H
  • Growth rate 
  • Good for 
  • Cultivars include
    • variety 'Alba', with 
  • Cultivars and species available by mail order from specialty suppliers or at local nurseries


  • Den Virtuella Floren, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Stockholm


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Last Updated on 26 February, 2004