Monday, April 29, 2013

Native Species Profile - Canada Anemone

Canada Anemone

The Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis) is a native wildflower that is found across much of the northern United States (29 states) and Canada (11 provinces and territories).  Quite adaptable, it can be found in a variety of sunny/part sun locations such as prairies, wet meadows, and woodlands.

Canada Anemone spreads easily both by seeds and rhizomes.  Given favorable conditions, it readily forms large colonies that can out-compete other native plants.  This tendency causes many wildflower gardeners, who might otherwise favor the plant, to be against its use.  Some gardeners will go as far to call the plant invasive.  Even if a native plant crowds out other species, it cannot be called invasive - the proper term for this habit in a native plant is aggressive.  Invasive refers only to those aggressive plants that are outside their natural range.  Most alien species are not aggressive and cannot be classified as invasive.

A large colony of Canada Anemone

It is a shame many wildflower gardeners feel the way that they do about the Canada Anemone.  It makes a very attractive groundcover.  Individual plant can grow one to two feet tall.  It has deeply lobed basal leaves and a whorl of deeply lobed leaves higher up the stem.  The stems and leaves on the Canada Anemone are covered with fine hairs.

Canada Anemone - Note the deeply lobed leaves.

The flower stems emerge from the center of this whorl of leaves.  Each flower is 1 to 1.5 inches across with five white petals and a yellow center.  The bright yellow stamens turn brown with age.  Individual plant blooms between late May and early August.

Canada Anemone leaves and flower - Note the fine hairs on leaves and stems and the five part flower with yellow center.

Basic Information

Canada Anemone 
Anemone canadensis

Height:  1-2’ tall

Habitat:  wet meadows, prairies, woodland edges

Flower Color:  white with yellow center

Bloom Time:  late May – early August

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