Content Detail

Canada anemone, also known as meadow anemone, is a fast spreading, colony-forming, North American native perennial. It is found growing in moist meadows, along wet wood edges, and along stream banks. Its attractive, spring-blooming, white flowers have showy yellow center stamens on long, stalked branches. This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.    

  • Family (English) Buttercup
  • Family (botanic) Ranunculaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
  • Size range Medium plant (12-24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, Sandy soil, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Occasional drought, Occasional flooding, Road salt, Wet sites
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, midsummer
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Upright
  • Growth rate Fast

Native geographic location and habitat:

C-Value: 4. It is found throughout North America, from Montana to North Dakota and Minnesota to Maine.  It occurs in northern and central Illinois. 

Attracts birds, butterflies or pollinators:

Butterflies and other pollinators are attracted to this plant. 

Leaf description:

Growth habit is in clusters of basal leaves, up to 3 inches long with deeply divided, three to five lobes and then subdivided into two to three secondary lobes. Leaves are dark green with toothed margins.

Flower description:

Flower stems are about 12 inches high above leaves where flowers form on long pedicels (stems). Flowers are 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide with five white petals (or sepals) and have bright yellow centers (anthers). They are long blooming from late spring to mid-summer.

Fruit descriptions:

Fruit is a cluster of achenes.

Plant care:

Canada anemone likes sun to part shade in moist woodlands. It will naturalize in moist areas and can be an aggressive spreader. Avoid windy sites for this plant. 

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Leaf spots, powdery mildew, rust, and slugs are all potential issues for this plant. It is resistant to salt and deer.


Your support is vital to the Arboretum, where the power of trees makes a positive impact on people’s lives.

Make a gift