Anemone canadensis

Anemone canadensis

Anemone canadensis is a spring to early summer flowering plant that can sometimes be found flowering till late summer in the Genus Anemone and family Ranunculaceae. Common names include Canada Anemone and is native from Eastern half of northern North America. Its sometime grown in garden for its attractive bright white flowers.


Plants grow(15-)20-80 cm tall from ascending caudices formed on long running rhizomes, the rhizomes ascending to horizontal some what fleshy it texture and golden-brown in color. Basal leaves are simple and deeply divided with 1 to 5 produced per caudice. The leaf petioles 8-22(-37) cm long. leaf blades orbiculate in shape and 4-10 cm wide and 5-15(-20) cm long. The leaves have sagittate to nearly truncate shaped bases and serrated margins. The leaf surfaces are covered with short, soft hairs (puberulous), with the undersides more densely covered. Each leaf with normally 3 segments that are lanceolate to oblanceolate in shape. Inflorescences with 1 to 3+ flowers, rarely grouped into cymes. The stem holding the flowers called peduncles with hairs puberulous to villous. The flowers with 3 stemless involucral bracts, sometimes having secondary involucres with 2 bracts, remotely subtending the flowers. The bracts simple, more or less similar in shape to the basal leaves, being broadly obtriangular and 3-cleft and 3-10 cm wide. The bases of the bracts are broadly cuneate in shape and fused together with margins sharply but irregularly serrated and incised with acuminate tips, surfaces puberulous, more so underneath; segments 3, lanceolate to oblanceolate; lateral segments unlobed or 1×-lobed; ultimate lobes (8-)10-15(-20) mm long. The bright white colored flowers are composed of 5 sepals normally, that are obovate in shape, each (8-)10-20(-25) mm long and 5-15 mm wide, hairy or hairless. The flowers have 80-100 stamens placed in the middle of the sepals. After blooming fruits are produced in spheric to ovoid shaped heads of achenes that are green in color, the pedicel or stem holding the cluster of seeds (fruits) is 7.5-11.5 cm long. Each achene is obovoid to ellipsoid in shape, (2.5-)3-6 long and 3.5-6 mm wide, with winged margins, and has a straight beak 2-6 mm long.

This species of Anemone is found growing in meadows, along roadsides, and in low shrubby areas were the soil is moisture retentive, it can spread by underground running rhizomes to form large thick colonies or spread-out along shorelines in long rows. When growing amongst thick vegetation plants are sparsely flowering. Anemone canadensis is distinguishable from others in the genus by its sessile (stalkless) leaves which surround the stem and have 5-7 lobes. Main range is throughout Southern Canada to Missouri, Illinois, western Virginia and northern New Jersey although it can be found as far West as British Columbia and as far South as New Mexico

In former times medically used by North American Indigenous peoples as an astringent and styptic for wounds, sores, and nosebleeds; and as an eyewash. The root was respected by Plains tribes and used for many ailments.

Caution: it is likely that most Anemones contain the caustic irritants of the Ranunculaceae family.


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