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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Native Wildflowers of the North Dakota Grasslands

JPG -- species photo

Meadow Anemone (Anemone canadensis)

A resident of all but the extreme southwestern corner of North Dakota, meadow anemone occurs naturally across southern Canada southward to Maryland and New Mexico. The plant has also spread elsewhere from cultivation.

Meadow anemone grows up to two feet tall from rhizomes (underground runners that lie parallel to the surface and sprout new plants). Large beds of plants may be found. The deeply parted leaves are on long stalks from the base of the plant. From among the largest leaves grow one to three long stalks, each bearing a five-petalled white flower about an inch wide.

Look for meadow anemone in low native prairie and old road ditches. Plants grow best under idle or lightly grazed conditions. Many anemones are used in medicines and foods, but I found no mention of meadow anemone in this regard.

Anemones are members of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). Ranunculus is Latin for "a little frog", the name applied by Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.) to a group of plants in this family that grows where frogs abound. The family contains our hepaticas, clematis', and columbine. The generic name Anemone is an ancient Greek and Latin corruption of the Semitic name for Adonis, from whose blood the red-flowered anemone of the Orient is said to have sprung. The specific name canadensis means "Canadian" in botanical Latin. Meadow anemone was first described for science in 1768 by the Swedish father of modern plant nomenclature Carl von Linne (Linnaeus).

Return to Ranunculaceae (The Crowfoot Family)
Next Species -- Candle Anemone (Anemone cylindrica)

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