Anemone canadensis L.

White Anemone


CC = 6
CW = -3
MOC = 27

© DETenaglia

Family - Ranunculaceae

Habit - Rhizomatous perennial herb, sometimes branched.

Anemone_canadensis_plant2.jpg Population.

© SRTurner

Stems - Ascending to erect, to 55 cm, usually branched, silky-hairy.

Anemone_canadensis_stem2.jpg Stem and base of leafy bract.

© SRTurner

Leaves - Basal leaves 1-7, deeply palmately divided into 3-5 lobes. Lobes divided again, toothed near apex, the ultimate leaf segments 5-16 mm wide, pointed at the tip, the margins toothed. Blades sericeous below, less so above, to 12 cm broad and long. Petioles to 15 cm long.

Anemone_canadensis_leaf.jpg Basal leaf blade.

© DETenaglia

Anemone_canadensis_leaf2.jpg Bract, abaxial.

© SRTurner

Inflorescence - Flowering stems bearing 1-3 involucres of opposite pairs or whorls of 3 leaflike bracts, these similar to leaf blades. Inflorescences solitary flowers or loose clusters of 1-5 flowers.

Anemone_canadensis_habit.jpg Bract and flower.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Actinomorphic, perfect, stalked, the stalks hairy, to 9 cm. Petaloid sepals 5, white, glabrous, obovate to elliptic, to 2.4 cm long. Petals absent. Stamens numerous, the filaments glabrous. Anthers yellow. Pistils numerous, each with 1 style and 1 ovule.

Anemone_canadensis_flower2.jpg Flower.

© SRTurner

Anemone_canadensis_flower3.jpg Rear view.

© SRTurner

Fruits - Head of fruits 5-10 mm long, 8-11 mm in diameter, nearly spherical. Achenes obovate in outline, pubescent with straight hairs not concealing the surface, the beak 3-6 mm long.

Anemone_canadensis_fruits1.jpg Fruit cluster.

© SRTurner

Anemone_canadensis_fruits2.jpg Fruits.

© SRTurner

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Levees, bottomland forests, bottomland prairies, bluff bases, flood plains, roadsides.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Lookalikes - Broadly, A. virginiana, A. cylindrica.

Other info. - This is a showy plant which sometimes forms large colonies. The large white flowers and palmate leaves provide for straightforward identification. When fresh, the petal-like sepals are brilliantly white, often faking camera light meters into underexposure. The plant is found in scattered locations in Missouri, predominantly in counties bordering the Missouri River. It U.S. range comprises two distinct regions - one across the upper Midwest and Northeast (with Missouri near the southern end of this region), the other along the Rocky Mountains southward into New Mexico. An odd but consistent habitat preference for this species is levee banks.

Because it favors locations near water, you may encounter other interesting species when hunting the plant. One such species is Nerodia sipedon sipedon. This specimen was basking itself on a warm gravel road after a cool night:


© DETenaglia

Photographs taken at the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, 5-3-00, and off the MKT Trail, Columbia, MO., 5-11-04 (DETenaglia); also on a levee near Augusta, Warren County, MO, 5-25-2008, 5-12-2014, and 5-14-2018; in Larimer County, CO, 7-31-2017, and at the Weldon Spring Site, St. Charles County, MO, 5-31-2020 (SRTurner).