Anemone caroliniana Walter

Prairie Anemone


CC = 7
CW = 5
MOC = 26

© SRTurner

Family - Ranunculaceae

Habit - Perennial forb with rhizomes and tubers.

Anemone_caroliniana_habit.jpg Entire plant.

© SRTurner

Stems - Ascending to erect, 6-30 cm, hairy, unbranched, technically leafless.

Leaves - Basal leaves 2-5, usually present and green at flowering, once-compound with 3 leaflets, the leaflets usually deeply parted or occasionally merely lobed, the ultimate segments 1-7 mm wide, rounded with a small sharp point to narrowed or tapered to a sharp point at the tip, the margins toothed or entire.

Anemone_caroliniana_leaves.jpg Basal leaves

© SRTurner

Anemone_caroliniana_leaf1.jpg Leaf blade adaxial.

© SRTurner

Anemone_caroliniana_leaf2.jpg Leaf blade abaxial.

© SRTurner

Inflorescence - Solitary flower arising from involucre of 3 whorled bracts positioned 3-16 cm below the flower, these sessile, wedge-shaped, deeply cleft, narrowed or tapered to a sharp point at the tip.

Anemone_caroliniana_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Anemone_caroliniana_bracts.jpg Bracts.

© SRTurner

Flower - Actinomorphic, perfect. Sepals 13-21, 10-23 mm long, white or less commonly pale blue, pink, or purple. Petals absent. Stamens numerous, the anthers yellow. Pistils numerous, each with 1 ovule. Styles present.

Anemone_caroliniana_flower.jpg Flower.

© SRTurner

Anemone_caroliniana_sepals.jpg Sepals and stamens.

© SRTurner

Anemone_caroliniana_sepals2.jpg Sepals, ventral view.

© SRTurner

Anemone_caroliniana_blue.jpg Blue variant.

© SRTurner

Fruits - Head of fruits 14-18 mm long, 5-7 mm wide, cylindrical. Fruits elliptic in outline, densely pubescent with woolly hairs more or less concealing the surface, the beak 1.2-1.8 mm long. Receptacle elongated at fruiting.

Flowering - March - April.

Habitat - Glades, upland prairies, pastures, roadsides, vacant lots, cemeteries, and rocky or sandy open disturbed places, usually on acidic substrates.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Lookalikes - None close.

Other info. - This delicate early springtime species is found in Missouri mostly in the southwestern quadrant. Elsewhere its range is largely within the central part of the continental U.S., with scattered populations extending to the Atlantic Coast. It tends to prefer acidic soils. This species is easily differentiated from the other Missouri members of the Anemone genus by its more numerous sepals (10-20), vs. usually 5 for other anemones. The sepals are the showy parts of the flower; this species lacks true petals.

Photographs taken at Twenty-Five Mile Prairie, Polk County, MO, 4-2-2022 (SRTurner).