South Dakota Native Plant Research
Ranunculaceae : Anemone canadensis

Ranunculaceae : Anemone canadensis


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Family Name


Common Name

Meadow anemone, Canadian anemone

Native American Name

Lakota: aȟpé owáŋyaŋg wašté


Anemone canadensis is a perennial herb, which grows 10 cm to 60 cm in height, growing from ascending caudices on long, thin rhizomes. The leaves are basal and mostly long-petioled with 3 to 5 lobes which are sharply toothed. The flowers have 5 (4-6) white, petal-like sepals which are obovate 10–20 mm long by 5–15 mm wide. There are 80-100 yellow stamens surrounding a cluster of pistils. The fruiting body is a cluster of achenes 9-16 mm long by 12-19 mm wide. Meadow anemone blooms from May to July in moist prairies, woodlands and meadows throughout much of South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Meadow anemone, or Canada anemone, is much more common in the glaciated part of the northern Great Plains (mostly east of the Missouri River), where it forms patches in moist prairies, wet meadows, and roadside ditches.

Dried root of meadow anemone was highly esteemed as a medicine by the Omaha and Ponca. It was used externally for wounds and sore eyes, and internally for various ailments. This species can be aggressive in a garden with moist sites, rapidly spreading by rhizomes. It attracts Carpenter Bees, Sweat Bees and Mining Bees.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Achenes ripen in July and August. Germination: Can be planted outside in fall or spring. Vegetative Propagation: Divide clusters of stems – easily transplanted.

Soils: Moist to wet soils.

Light: Partial shade to full sun.

Notes: Easily grown needing little care.

Ranunculaceae : Anemone canadensis