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.

Posted by: America Larez - Birch Lake Blvd N
on: 2018-06-11 22:07:38

It's very common in the shore line. It is blooming now in June

Posted by: Jeannie - Lake Elmo
on: 2018-06-21 11:10:22

Just removing a smaller garden bed because they have overtaken the bed. Tried to pull them up but wow, they come back in droves...I surrender!

Posted by: MaryL - Rosemount Dakota County
on: 2018-07-02 15:57:57

What is the difference between this Anemone and a Wild Geranium?

Posted by: Vera Malone - Wadena County
on: 2019-05-31 18:56:47

They are a real nuisance and invasive in my shade garden-almost impossible to get rid of. If you miss any of the fine root, it spreads like wildfire. I'm trying a homemade weed-killer of vinegar, epsom salt, and Dawn dish soap.

Posted by: Julie - LeSeuer county
on: 2019-06-09 17:22:52

Have a lot of anemone along moist ditch on our county road. More this year due to excessive spring rains.

Posted by: Sara - Lac qui Parle county
on: 2019-06-17 17:57:24

This is the first year I've seen this growing all over our bank of the Florida creek. Pretty and it seemingly choked out the burning weed so I'll take it.

Posted by: Kathleen Smith - Otter Tail Lake
on: 2019-06-25 12:20:09

Found near Otter Tail Lake in my mom's forest.

Posted by: Sue - Washington County
on: 2020-06-06 17:21:05

Biking the Gateway Trail yesterday from Oakdale to Pine Point Park and this is blooming all over along the trail edges in yellow, white, and pink. Absolutely beautiful to see in such abundance!

Posted by: Sandra Sedivy - Pickerel Lake near Maine in Otter Tail County
on: 2020-06-15 17:42:20

I saw this along a gravel road in a shaded ditch about 20 feet from a marshy area.

Posted by: LeAnn Plinske - Rotary Riverside Park
on: 2021-06-05 15:33:55

Blooming in Rotary Riverside Park in Brainerd.

Posted by: Carly Austin-Kukowski - Prarie Island Rd, Winona
on: 2021-06-06 11:48:38

A great colony growing along the Mc. Nally's landing drive, the roadside nearest to the river.

Posted by: Marilyn Stewart - Crosslake,MN
on: 2021-06-07 22:11:51

I found these on my beach on Cross Lake, in Crosslake MN.

Posted by: Diana Pierce - Plymouth
on: 2022-06-24 07:55:24

I found them at Camden State Park along the Redwood River.

Posted by: Mary Dailey - Two Harbors
on: 2022-07-02 09:10:11

Found a colony in an abandoned gravel pit

Posted by: Lisa Scott - Columbia Heights
on: 2023-06-01 20:22:27

Showed up in my back yard in 2021.Just today found out what it is.

Posted by: Patricia Schenk - Cottage Grove, Minnesota
on: 2023-08-16 12:30:38

I acquired this plant. It quickly became out of control. I did, however, plant it in a good spot - partial shade and sun. It is growing profusely under a large tree with Hostas, Clematis, Astilbe, Sedum, Jack in the Pulpit, and For Get Me Nots. I made a huge mistake of adding "snow on the mountain. I am trying to get rid of this plant. It is worse than the Anemone!!!

Posted by: Debra Kvamme - Blaine, MN
on: 2024-03-28 17:22:51

Just doing research for an I Naturalist project through the UMN. I love your website, but noticed that I Naturalist is using the name Anemonastrum canadense instead of Anemone canadensis.

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2024-03-28 18:57:03

Debra, taxonomy is always subject to change. iNat seems to adopt changes quicker than most.

Posted by: Betty Zinter - Silver Bay
on: 2024-06-22 12:33:08

Volunteer patch at Sychar Lutheran Church on the Edison Blvd side. I may try to transplant it to an area with little sun or rain. Perhaps it will behave itself!

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