Anemone canadensis (Canada Anemone)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; moist fields, thickets, along shores
Bloom season:May - July
Plant height:1 to 2 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACW MW: FACW NCNE: FACW
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals

[photo of flowers] 1 to 3 long-stalked flowers at the top of the stem, sometimes with a pair of leaf-like bracts about midway up a stalk. Flowers are 1 to 1½ inches across, 5 white petal-like sepals and a ring of numerous yellow-tipped stamens surrounding a small, green center. Flower stalks are hairy.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: whorl Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are deeply divided into 3 to 5 wedge-shaped lobes (3 is most common), the lobes further divided and with pointed tips, the edges coarsely toothed and surfaces finely hairy. The 1 to 5 basal leaves are long-stalked, generally round in outline and 3 to 6 inches long.

[photo of stem leaves] At the top of the stem is a whorl of 3 stalkless leaves, about 5 inches in diameter and similar in shape to the basal leaves. The long flower stalks arise from the center of the whorl. Stems are erect and sparsely hairy.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed without plume

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a round cluster of flattened, generally oval, beaked seeds.


Canada Anemone can form sizable colonies via spreading rhizomes. It's found in wet ditches, on shorelines, moist prairies and meadows all across the state starting in late spring.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake and Rice Creek Regional Parks, Ramsey County, and in Lac Qui Parle County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Ron
on: 2009-06-20 16:51:46

I photographed some Canada Anemone in bloom at Rum River Central Regional Park.

Posted by: Pat - Meeker co
on: 2010-04-07 22:33:09

I found some nice colonies of this growing near the railroad track. I saw it last year, in three different locations, in July.

Posted by: Lee - Grey Eagle
on: 2010-05-30 12:55:06

Lavender colored flowers, 5 lobed leaves

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2010-05-31 19:19:24

If the flower is lavender, it is probably wild geranium instead of Canada anemone. The leaves are similar and I get them mixed up, too, when the flowers aren't blooming.

Posted by: Ray - Spring Valley
on: 2010-07-27 06:35:28

Seen along Shooting Star Bike Trail west of Lake Louise State Park

Posted by: Stephanie - Traverse County
on: 2011-06-24 10:49:45

Found a patch while collecting scientific data for our watershed program, River Watch

Posted by: Mary - Dayton Port State Park
on: 2011-06-28 07:45:30

Three of four patches in bloom for a couple weeks now along the rough portion of the west fence line. Beautiful.

Posted by: Janice - Oakdale, MN
on: 2012-06-09 21:23:18

These are growing in my flower bed - were most likely migrated from a friends garden up near Bald Eagle Lake in White Bear Lake. They spread quickly but are easy to pull out if you don't want so many.

Posted by: Brian - St. Peter
on: 2013-06-26 19:59:27

There was a beautiful display of this in bloom on Kasota Prairie Preserve in Le Sueur County on June 21.

Posted by: Ming - West Saint Paul
on: 2013-07-10 17:02:07

They are blooming in Fort Snelling State Park along the trail close to fishing pier. Cute flowers stand up high from the leaves and smile to people passing by. Oh great I find their name here!

Posted by: Nadine - Oakdale
on: 2015-06-07 14:32:09

In my raised garden bed...planted a pack of old seeds a few years ago & they have spread so much. Might have to try and move them to the back of the yard

Posted by: Pamela - Oak Grove, Anoka County
on: 2015-06-09 22:01:25

These grow in our wet meadow and are a pretty sight. You can't see them easily above the tussock sedge except we built a wooden walkway over the meadow and so you can easily see them from it. I also have them growing in my vegetable garden. Not sure how they got there, but since they grow mostly along the edge, I let them as they are so pretty. They do spread, and I just tear them out when they get out of hand.

Posted by: Michelle - East Central
on: 2015-06-25 15:00:38

I have a few plants growing along the border of our yard in the brushy area. We have a lot of oak trees and shrubs that give us a lot of shade.

Posted by: Randy - Minneapolis
on: 2016-06-10 21:30:34

This plant has volunteered itself in my backyard 'prairie garden'. It is very aggressive and have been waring against it for a couple of years now. Last night I spent two hours to clear out about five square feet. :-(

Posted by: Steve K - Hennepin County
on: 2017-05-15 09:34:51

Agree with Randy. The spreading rhizomes are about 4 inches deep and are very difficult to remove.

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