This perennial wildflower produces basal leaves about ½'
tall and flowering
stems about ¾-2' tall. The basal leaves are 3-6" long and similarly
across. Each basal leaf is deeply divided into 3-5 primary lobes that
are more or less oblanceolate in shape; each primary lobe is subdivided
into 2-3 secondary lobes. In addition to their lobes, the basal leaves
have scattered dentate teeth along their margins. The upper blade
surface of these leaves is medium to dark green and either hairless or
sparsely short-hairy, while the lower blade surface is pale green and
sparsely hairy, especially along the veins. The petioles of the basal
leaves are about 4-8" long, light green, terete, and hairy. The
flowering stems produce pairs of opposite leaves (leafy involucral
bracts) in 1-2 tiers. The opposite leaves are similar to the basal
leaves, except they are sessile; leaves of the second tier are also
smaller in size. The stems are light green, terete, and hairy. Above
each tier of opposite leaves, 1-3 flowers are produced from pedicels
about 2-4" long. Each flower is 1-1½" across, consisting of 5 white
petaloid sepals, a cluster of pistils, and numerous stamens with yellow
anthers. The pedicels are light green, terete, and hairy. The blooming
period occurs from late spring to mid-summer for about 1-1½ months.
Afterwards, each flower is replaced by a cluster of achenes. The
achenes have bodies about 4-6 mm. long and a little less across, while
their beaks are 2-6 mm. long; they are also flattened and slightly
The root system is rhizomatous. Vegetative colonies of plants are often
The preference is full or partial sun, moist conditions,
and calcareous soil containing loam or gravelly material.
The native Meadow Anemone is
occasional in northern and
central Illinois, while in the southern section of the state it is rare
or absent (see Distribution
). Habitats include moist prairies,
sedge meadows, openings in floodplain woodlands, woodland borders,
banks of streams, and swampy areas. Because of its attractive flowers
and foliage, Meadow Anemone is cultivated occasionally in gardens.
Floral visitors include small bees
that collect pollen and Syrphid flies that feed on pollen. The larvae
of a fly, Dasineura
, form bud galls on Meadow Anemone.
Another insect, Rhizoecus
(Ground Mealybug), feeds on the
roots. Because the foliage contains blistering agents that can irritate
the gastrointestinal tract, mammalian herbivores usually avoid
consumption of this plant.
The Toledo Botanical Garden in Toledo, Ohio.
Meadow Anemone is similar in appearance to Thimbleweed (Anemone
) and Candle Anemone (Anemone cylindrica
except that it
has larger flowers, sessile opposite leaves, and achenes that are only
sparsely hairy, instead of being embedded in a cottony mass of hairs.
In addition to these three species, other native species of this genus
in Illinois are smaller plants that
bloom earlier in the year. Another common name of Anemone canadensis