Anemone virginiana L. - Virginia Anemone

Anemone virginiana plant

Family - Ranunculaceae

Stems - From a stout but small caudex and slightly thickened roots, to +60cm tall, erect, purplish near the base, herbaceous, pilose at base (hairs becoming dense and antrorse appressed on peduncles), single from the base.

Leaves - Basal leaves long-petiolate, trifoliolate. Petioles often purplish, to 20cm long, pilose to hirsute, with a shallow & thin adaxial groove. Leaflets serrate, pubescent above and below. The lateral leaflets sessile, the terminal leaflets sessile or stalked. Terminal leaflet cuneate at the base, often 3-lobed. Lateral lobes of terminal leaflet often lobed or divided again. All leaflets to +/-5cm long. Involucral leaves petiolate, trifoliolate, much resembling the basal leaves but with a much shorter petiole. Petioles of these leaves with a more distinct adaxial groove.

Anemone virginiana leavesBasal leaves.

Inflorescence - Single flower terminating a long peduncle. Often 2-3 or more flowers per plant. Peduncles to +30cm long, sericeous.

Flowers - Petals absent. Sepals petaloid, greenish-white, 5, sericeous abaxially, glabrous adaxially, +1cm long, +5mm broad, acute, with expanded margins near the apex. Margins often involute. Stamens many (+/-100). Filaments glabrous, greenish-white, of varying lengths but the longest to 6mm. Anthers yellow to greenish, 1.5mm long. Carpels many. The ovary ovoid. Receptacle clavate. Individual carpels green, pubescent at the base. Fruit long, cylindric, to 3cm long, +/-1cm in diameter. Achenes green, slightly pubescent in the apical 1/2, densely lanate in basal 1/2.

Anemone virginiana flowerFlower.

Anemone virginiana fruitFruit.

Flowering - April - August.

Habitat - Rocky and dry open woods and prairies.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This species can be found throughout Missouri. The plant is very easy to ID when in flower or fruit because both are distinctive.
Steyermark breaks this species down into three forms, I won't go into those here as they are no longer valid.
Medicinally, this species is an expectorant, an emetic, and an astringent. Natives used the caudex in many forms to cure many ailments. Smoke from roasting seeds was used to revive the unconscious by being blown into the nostrils of the patient.

Photographs taken at Alley Springs, MO., 6-3-03 and 6-27-03.


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