Anemone caroliniana (Carolina anemone)
|Also known as:||Carolina Thimbleweed|
|Habitat:||sun; dry sandy or rocky soil; prairies, barrens, rocky open woods|
|Bloom season:||April - May|
|Plant height:||3 to 6 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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A single 1 to 1½ inch flower at the top of the stem. Flowers have 8 to 20 petal-like sepals, sometimes of unequal size, and numerous yellow stamens around a greenish center. Sepal color ranges from white to pink to blue to deep violet, sometimes bi-colored with white just near the base.
Leaves and stems:
The few basal leaves are palmately compound in groups of 3, a compound leaf up to 1 inch across when mature, on a stalk 1 to 4 inches long. Leaflets are hairless to sparsely hairy, notched at the tip or deeply lobed into 2 or 3 parts, which may be further notched or lobed as well as have sharp teeth around the edges. The flowering stem is smooth at the base
The flowers of Carolina Anemone are highly variable, which might lead one to think the different colors, number or shape of the sepals may represent different species or varieties, but they do not. It has a rather large flower for such a short plant, and is a delicate little beauty but fleeting, the bloom period relatively short and the flowers beginning to disintegrate almost as soon as they open. While not a common sight in Minnesota it is not considered a rare species here, but is Endangered in Wisconsin.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Hastings Sand Coulee SNA, Dakota County, and in Renville County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Dakota and Renville counties. Photos courtesy Jerry Hogeboom taken in Dakota County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?