Canada anemone

(Anemonastrum canadense)

Conservation Status
Canada anemone
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACW - Facultative wetland


FACW - Facultative wetland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland


Canada anemone is an erect, perennial, 8 to 32 tall forb. It rises from the top of a persistent woody base (caudex) of an aerial shoot. The caudices rise from a node at or near the end of an ascending to horizontal, underground stem (rhizome).

Each plant produces a whorl of 1 to 5 basal leaves and a flowering stem.

Basal leaves are on 3 to 8½ long leaf stalks (petioles). The petioles are light green, round in cross section, and hairy. The leaf blades are circular in outline, 1½ to 4 long, and 2 to 6 wide. They are deeply divided into 3 primary lobes. The lateral two lobes are deeply divided into two secondary lobes. The terminal primary lobe and the lateral secondary lobes are lance-shaped or inversely lance-shaped, and to 13 16wide. The upper surface is medium to dark green and is sparsely covered with straight, silky, somewhat appressed hairs. The lower surface is pale green and sparsely to moderately hairy. The margins of each lobe are undivided and untoothed near the base, toothed with sharp, forward pointing teeth and shallowly to deeply cut on the terminal ½ to .

A single flowering stem rises from the caudex at the middle of the whorl of basal leaves. The stem is erect, light green, unbranched, and round in cross section. Below the middle it is sparsely covered with fine short hairs (puberulent) and long, soft, shaggy but unmatted hairs (villous). Toward the top it is densely villous. At the top of the flowering stem there is a whorl of 3 leaves.

The stem leaves are stalkless. The leaf blades are inversely triangular in outline, 13 16 to 4 long, and otherwise similar to basal leaves.

The inflorescence is 1 central and sometimes 1 or 2 lateral flowers rising from the whorl of basal leaves at the end of the stem. Each flower is solitary at the end of a long flower stalk (pedicel). The pedicels are 3 to 4½ long, light green, round in cross section, and hairy. The lateral pedicels, if any, have a pair of leaf-like appendages (bracts). The central pedicel does not.

Each flower is 1 to 1½ in diameter. There are no petals, 4 to 6 (usually 5) petal-like sepals, and 80 to 100 stamens with yellow anthers. The sepals are white, inversely egg-shaped, to ¾ long, and 3 16 to wide.

The infructescence is a dense, globe-shaped or egg-shaped fruiting head.

The fruit is an inversely egg-shaped to ellipse-shaped, to ¼ long , to ¼ wide seed capsule (achene). There is a persistent style (beak) but no tuft of hairs at the end of the achene.




8 to 32


Flower Color




Similar Species

  Wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia var. quinquefolia) is a shorter plant, no more than 8 tall. The leaves on the flowering stalk are stalked. The plant is found in shaded woods, not sunny meadow and prairies.  

Wet to moderate moisture. Meadows, prairies, lake shores, streamsides. Full to partial sun.




May to August


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Ranunculanae  


Ranunculales (buttercups, poppies, and allies)  


Ranunculaceae (buttercups)  
  Subfamily Ranunculoideae (anemones, buttercups, larkspurs and allies)  
  Tribe Anemoneae (anemones and allies)  



The genus Anemone has long been thought not to be composed of a common ancestral population and all of its descendants, not monophyletic. Several molecular phylogenetic studies published between 1994 and 2015 demonstrate the validity of this idea. A recent reassessment of Anemone and related genera (Mosyakin, S.L., 2016), based on those studies, suggested segregating four genera from Anemone. Most sources now accept the realignment.

This species was originally described in 1768 by Carl Linnaeus as Anemone canadensis. In 2016 it was moved to the genus Anemonastrum.


Subordinate Taxa




Anemone canadensis

Anemone dichotoma var. canadensis

Anemone pensylvanica

Anemonidium canadense


Common Names


Canada anemone

Canadian anemone

meadow anemone












A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded seed capsule, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.



A comparatively short and stout, narrow or prolonged tip on a thickened organ, as on some fruits and seeds.



Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.



A short, thickened, woody, persistent enlargement of the stem, at or below ground level, used for water storage.



The small swelling of the stem from which one or more leaves, branches, or buds originate.



On plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. On insects: the second segment of the antennae. On Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen: the preferred term is petiole.



On plants: The stalk of a leaf blade or a compound leaf that attaches it to the stem. On ants and wasps: The constricted first one or two segments of the rear part of the body.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.



An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.



Covered with long, soft, fine, shaggy but unmatted hairs.

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    Canada anemone   Canada anemone  
    Canada anemone      

Kirk Nelson

    Canada anemone      

Seen by the trails around Snelling Lake and by the paved trail along the Minnesota River

    Canada anemone   Canada anemone  

Barbara Dodge


It is just the most amazing little prairie reserve.

    Canada anemone      

Wayne Rasmussen

    Canada anemone      


    Canada anemone   Canada anemone  
    Canada anemone   Canada anemone  


    Canada anemone   Canada anemone  
    Canada anemone      


    Canada anemone      


    Canada anemone   Canada anemone  
    Canada anemone      


    Canada anemone      


    Canada anemone   Canada anemone  



  Time Lapse--Canada Anemone

Uploaded on Jun 3, 2009

Time-lapse of Anemone plant growing in Nichols Park, Chicago. Photographed and assembled by Tyler Kerr for a class on prairie ecology.




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis)

Uploaded on Jun 8, 2010 - A lush patch of Canada Anemone; Anemone canadensis at Prairie Moon Nursery.

  Anemone Canada

Published on Jul 24, 2013

No description available.

  John Latimer Phenology Note - Canada Anemone

Uploaded on Jul 20, 2009

KAXE Phenologist John Latimer talks about Canada Anemone. This is the first of what we hope to be many updates from John about the nature around us. We'll probably get better at it the more we do it...? John Latimer does a weekly Phenology Report every Thursday morning on KAXE.




Visitor Sightings

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Location: Lake Shore, Cass County

Canada anemone  
  Kirk Nelson

Location: Crosby Farm Regional Park

Canada anemone  
  Barbara Dodge

Location: Riverwalk, Lowertown, St. Paul

It is just the most amazing little prairie reserve.

Canada anemone  
  Kirk Nelson

Location: Fort Snelling State Park

Seen by the trails around Snelling Lake and by the paved trail along the Minnesota River

Canada anemone  
  Wayne Rasmussen

Location: Maplewood Nature Center

Canada anemone  
  David Ayer

Location: Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA


Afton State Park

Agassiz Dunes SNA (MN DNR)

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Antelope Valley SNA

Banning State Park

Blackhoof River WMA

Blanket Flower Prairie SNA

Blazing Star Prairie

Blue Devil Valley SNA

Blue Mounds State Park

Camden State Park

Cannon River Turtle Preserve SNA

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Cedar Mountain SNA

Cedar Rock SNA

Chippewa Prairie

Clifton E. French Regional Park

Clinton Prairie SNA

Compass Prairie SNA

Cottonwood River Prairie SNA

Crow Wing State Park

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Des Moines River SNA

Englund Ecotone SNA

Felton Prairie SNA, Bicentennial Unit

Felton Prairie SNA, Shrike Unit

Felton WMA

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Foxhome Prairie

Glendalough State Park

Glynn Prairie SNA

Gneiss Outcrops SNA

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Gustafson’s Camp SNA

Hole-in-the-Mountain Prairie

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

Iron Springs Bog SNA

Itasca State Park

Jay Cooke State Park

Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

Kasota Prairie

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Keller Regional Park

Kettledrummer Prairie

Kilen Woods State Park

La Salle Lake SNA

Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit

Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Louise State Park

Lake Maria State Park

Langhei Prairie SNA

Leif Mountain

Lester Lake SNA

Lundblad Prairie SNA

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Malmberg Prairie SNA

Maplewood State Park

Margherita Preserve-Audubon Prairie

Mary Schmidt Crawford Woods SNA

Miller Prairie, West Unit

Minnesota Valley NWR, Chaska Unit

Mississippi River County Park

Mound Spring Prairie SNA, North Unit

Mound Spring Prairie SNA, South Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Pavia Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Rengstorf Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Spieker Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Touch the Sky Prairie Unit

Old Mill State Park

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Otter Tail Prairie SNA

Pankratz Memorial Prairie, North Unit

Pembina Trail Preserve SNA, Crookston Prairie Unit

Phelps Lake WMA

Pilot Knob

Plover Prairie, East Unit

Prairie Coteau SNA

Prairie Creek WMA, Koester Prairie Unit

Prairie Creek Woods SNA

Prairie Smoke Dunes SNA

Quarry Park SNA

Racine Prairie SNA

Regal Meadow

Richard M. & Mathilde Rice Elliott SNA

Ritter Farm Park

River Terrace Prairie SNA

River Warren Outcrops SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

Rock Ridge Prairie SNA

Rockville County Park

St. Croix Savanna SNA

St. Croix State Park

Sandpiper Prairie SNA

Savage Fen SNA

Savanna Portage State Park

Schaefer Prairie

Schoolcraft State Park

Sedan Brook Prairie SNA

Seven Mile Creek County Park

Seven Springs WMA

Sheepberry Fen

Shooting Star Prairie SNA

Split Rock Creek State Park

Spring Prairie Preserve

Springbrook Nature Center

Staffanson Prairie

Strandness Prairie

Thorson Prairie WMA

Tribute WMA

Twin Valley Prairie Addition

Twin Valley Prairie SNA

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Verlyn Marth Memorial Prairie SNA

Vermillion River WMA

Western Prairie SNA

William O’Brien State Park

Woodbury WMA







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