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Anemonastrum canadense

Anemonastrum canadense , Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Ordo: Ranunculales

Familia: Ranunculaceae
Subfamilia: Ranunculoideae
Tribus: Anemoneae
Genus: Anemonastrum
Species: Anemonastrum canadense

Anemonastrum canadense (L.) Mosyakin, Phytoneuron 2016-79: 4 (2016).

Anemone canadensis L., Syst. Nat. ed. 12, 3(App.): 231 (1768).
Aiolon canadense (L.) Nieuwl. & Lunell, Amer. Midl. Naturalist 4: 360 (1916).
Anemone dichotoma var. canadensis (L.) MacMill., Metasp. Minnesota Valley 237 (1892).
Anemonidium canadense (L.) Á.Löve & D.Löve, Taxon 31: 124 (1982).
Nemorosa canadensis (L.) Nieuwl., Amer. Midl. Naturalist 3: 322 (1914).
Aiolon canadense f. flavum Lunell, Amer. Midl. Naturalist 4: 360 (1916).
Anemone aconitifolia Michx., Fl. Bor.-Amer. (Michaux) 1: 320 (1803).
Anemone canadensis f. dicksonii B.Boivin, Naturaliste Canad. 87: 26 (1960).
Anemone dichotoma subsp. pennsylvanica (L.) Ulbr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 37: 263 (1906).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
Regional: Subarctic America
Nunavut, Northwest Territories.
Regional: Western Canada
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan.
Regional: Eastern Canada
New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Québec.
Regional: Northwestern U.S.A.
Colorado, Montana, Wyoming.
Regional: North-Central U.S.A.
Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin.
Regional: Northeastern U.S.A.
Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia.
Regional: South-Central U.S.A.
New Mexico.
Regional: Southeastern U.S.A.
Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia.

Anemonastrum canadense

Anemone canadensis

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Mosyakin, S.L. 2016. First record of Chenopodium ficifolium subsp. blomianum (Chenopodiaceae) in North America. Phytoneuron 2016-33: 1–6. PDF Reference page.


Hassler, M. 2021. World Plants. Synonymic Checklist and Distribution of the World Flora. . Anemonastrum canadense. Accessed: 8 Aug 2021.
Hassler, M. 2021. Anemonastrum canadense. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Aug 8. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Anemonastrum canadense in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Aug 8. Reference page. 2021. Anemonastrum canadense. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 8 Aug 2021.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Anemonastrum canadense. Published online. Accessed: 8 Aug 2021.

Vernacular names
English: Canadian anemone
suomi: Kanadanvuokko
français: Anémone du Canada

Anemonastrum canadense, synonym Anemone canadensis,[1] the Canada anemone, round-headed anemone, round-leaf thimbleweed,[2] meadow anemone, windflower,[3] or crowfoot, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae. It is native to moist meadows, thickets, streambanks, and lakeshores in North America, spreading rapidly by underground rhizomes. It is valued for its white flowers.[4]


The Canada anemone has shoots with deeply divided and toothed basal leaves on 8–22 cm (3+1⁄4–8+3⁄4 inches) petioles. They grow from ascending caudices on long, thin rhizomes. The shoots are 20–80 cm (8–31 inches) tall, and leaves are 4–10 cm (1+1⁄2–4 inches) by 5–15 cm (2–6 inches).[5]

Flowers with about 5 white, petal-like sepals and 80-100 yellow stamens bloom from late spring to summer on stems above a cluster of leaves. The sepals are obovate (with the base slightly tapered) and 10–20 mm (1⁄2–3⁄4 inch) by 5–15 mm (1⁄4–5⁄8 inch).[5]

When they are pollinated, the green pistils in the middle of the flower become a rounded to slightly lengthened seed head. The seeds are achenes, with an almost round body and a beak.[5]

Closeup of a flower with light green pistils in the middle of fairly old stamens, and white sepals behind them


The species was first described in 1768 by Carl Linnaeus, as Anemone canadensis.[6] As traditionally and broadly circumscribed, the genus Anemone has repeatedly been shown not to be monophyletic, with genera such as Clematis and Pulsatilla embedded within it. As part of creating monophyletic genera, Sergei Mosyakin expanded the genus Anemonastrum to include Anemone canadensis as Anemonastrum canadense.[7]

Anemonastrum canadense is native to Canada and the west central and eastern United States.[1][5]

Anemonastrum canadense was used medically by North American Indigenous peoples as an astringent, as a styptic for wounds, sores, nosebleeds, and as an eyewash. The root was respected by Plains tribes and used for many ailments.

It is likely that most anemones contain similar caustic irritants to other members of the family Ranunculaceae.[8]

"Anemonastrum canadense (L.) Mosyakin". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
Native Plant Database profile, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas at Austin
Missouri Botanical Garden
Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown (1913). An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions: From Newfoundland to the Parallel of the Southern Boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean Westward to the 102d Meridian. Vol. 2. C. Scribner's sons. page 99
Dutton, Bryan E.; Keener, Carl S.; Ford, Bruce A. (1997). "Anemone canadensis". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). Vol. 3. New York and Oxford. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
"Anemonastrum canadense (L.) Mosyakin", The International Plant Names Index, retrieved 2020-08-08
Mosyakin, S.L. (2016). "Nomenclatural notes on North American taxa of Anemonastrum and Pulsatilla (Ranunculaceae), with comments on the circumscription of Anemone and related genera" (PDF). Phytoneuron (79): 1–12. ISSN 2153-733X.
Foster, Steven and James A. Duke. Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, "Peterson Field Guides", Houghton, Mifflin 1990 edn. ISBN 0-395-92066-3

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