Anemone quinquefolia (Wood Anemone)
|Also known as:||Nightcaps|
|Bloom season:||April - June|
|Plant height:||4 to 8 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FAC MW: FAC NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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A single 1-inch flower on a hairy stalk arises from a whorl of leaves at the end of the stem. Flowers have 4 to 9 petal-like sepals, usually 5, with numerous white-tipped stamens surrounding a green center. Flower color is usually white, occasionally pink.
Leaves are compound in groups of 3, though the lateral leaflets may be cleft so it appears to be 4 or 5 leaflets. A single whorl of 3 stalked leaves sits at the top of the stem with the flower stalk arising from the center. Leaflets are up to 1½ inches long, notched, lobed or deeply divided in 2 or 3 parts, coarsely toothed at the tip end, wedge-shaped at the base, and very short-stalked or stalkless. Leaf color ranges from bright green to purplish green to dark purple. A single basal leaf similar to the stem leaves, but nearly round in outline, may also be present. Leaves and stems are covered in fine hairs.
Wood Anemone tends to grow in thick mats, spreading via rhizomes. A single plant may take 5 years or longer to flower, so often only a few flowers are seen among the leaves. When not flowering it can be recognized by the basal leaves, nearly round in outline, with 3 hairy, nearly stalkless leaflets, the lateral leaflets often deeply cleft. There are 2 recognized varieties: var. minima has a limited range in NC, TN, VA, WV; var. quniquefolia ranges from Nova Scotia to southern Manitoba and south to Alabama, and is found in Minnesota.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Wood Anemone plant
- a patch of Wood Anemone
- a flower with 6 sepals and purplish leaves
- a flower with 8 sepals
- pink flowers
- a-typical double flower
- more leaves
Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake and Vadnais/Snail Lake Regional Parks, Ramsey County, Whitewater Wildlife Management Area, Winona County, and in Anoka County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, Hennepin County, and in Anoka County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?