Anemone cylindrica (Thimbleweed)
|Also known as:||Long-fruited Thimbleweed, Long-headed Anemone, Candle Anemone, Cottenweed|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; dry; prairies, roadsides, edges of woods|
|Bloom season:||June - August|
|Plant height:||1 to 2 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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2 to 8 long-stalked flowers arising from a whorl of leaves at the top of the stem, sometimes with a pair of leaf-like bracts about midway up a stalk. Individual flowers are ¾ inch across with 5 pointed, hairy, greenish white, petal-like sepals and numerous yellowish stamens around a gray-green cone-like center. The cone is about twice as long as wide while the flower blooms.
There are basal leaves and a whorl of 3 to 10 leaves about midway up the stem, all of similar shape, palmately compound in groups of 3. The basal leaves have long stalks and are a little larger than the stem leaves. Leaflets are up to 4 inches long, hairy, deeply lobed in 3 to 5 parts, wedge-shaped at the base with the lobes fanning out. Stems are erect and hairy.
Thimbleweed is easily confused with Tall Thimbleweed (Anenome virginiana). The best way I've found to tell them apart is by the shape of the leaves. Thimbleweed leaflets are wedge-shaped at the base with the lobes fanning out. The outer lobes of Tall Thimbleweed leaflets are rounded with teeth along the tip half. Thimbleweed also rarely grows taller than 2 feet, with a cone up to 1½ inches long, where Tall Thimbleweed can reach nearly 4 feet and its cones are usually under 1 inch long.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake, Rice Creek Trail and Battle Creek Regional Parks, Ramsey County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?