Native Plant Trust

Anemone canadensis

Canada windflower, Canada anemone


This species is a beautiful, vigorously spreading groundcover with dramatically lobed foliage. It works well to fill between larger perennial wildflowers (which can compete with it due to their height), or simply as an aggressive ground-cover for moist, sunny spaces. Shorter and less aggressive in drier and shadier conditions, this plant can fill just about any niche... sometimes aggressively!

Click on these links to read in detail:  General Description | Benefits | Ecology | References


Height: 12-24 in
Spread: 3-5 ft
Hardiness Zone: 2-9


Bloom Color: White

Characteristics & Attributes

Cultivation Status
Species
Exposure
Sun
Part Shade
Soil Moisture
Average
Dry
Wet
Ecoregion
(83) Eastern Great Lakes Lowlands
(59) Northeastern Coastal Zone
(84) Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens
(82) Acadian Plains and Hills
(58) Northeastern Highlands
Ornamental Interest
Summer Bloom
Attracts Wildlife
Other Pollinators/Wildlife
Attracts Bees
Tolerance
Compaction Tolerant
Deer/Rabbit Resistant
Additional Attributes
Low Maintenance


North American Distribution


General Description

Bloom Description: Pure white, cup-shaped, upward-facing flowers bloom from April to June.

Growth Habit & Shape: Whorled, deeply lobed leave are highly ornamental, similar to geranium. Spreads aggressively by rhizome and seed.

Soil Preferences: Prefers circumneutral pH (6.8-7.2) soil, but is also adapted to more acidic New England soils. Thrives in organically rich, moist soils.

Root Description: This species is rhizomatous, but the roots can seem small and insignificant compared to the fast-moving, adaptable and hardy nature of the plant.


Garden Uses: Can be used for naturalizing; in stands of larger perennials like penstemons, milkweeds, asters, goldenrods, mountain mints, etc.; Also works well with spring ephemerals in between shrubs in place of mulch, or under a more open and high, mature tree canopy mixed with other understory plants.

Best Management & Maintenance: This plant is extremely low maintenance; foliage makes it beautiful all through the growing season. Weed out from wherever it is not wanted, though it can be a challenge to eradicate from an area where it is already established. It doesn't take via transplant as well as it does through spreading and self-seeding.

Common Problems: typically none.

Benefits

Ornamental Value: Very attractive, deep green foliage. Flower is relatively large, and fields or mats of this plant are stunning when the entire space is in bloom.

Wildlife Benefits: Host plant for the veiled ear moth (Loscopia velata) and the one-lined Sparganothis (Sparganothis unifasciana). Also provides pollen to a wide variety of native bees.

Other Practical/Environmental Benefits: Useful for erosion control. Attracts predatory and parasitoid wasps that prey on common insect pests.

Use in place of: lawn, barberry, Japanese Pachysandra, Vinca, mulch.

Ecology

Habitat:
Per the Flora of North America, found in “damp thickets, meadows, wet prairies, lake shores, streamsides, clearings, occasionally swampy areas[...]”


Response to Disturbance: Though aggressive in optimal condition, opinions regarding this plant's successional status differ across its geographic range. Stands are reduced by repeated mechanical damage (trampling), but plants re-sprout from remaining rhizomes.

Native State Distributions:
Canada: AB, BC, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK
USA: CO, CT, DC, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY


Wetland indicator status: [WETLAND INDICTOR]

References

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Photo by Dan Jaffe (c) Native Plant Trust
Photo by Dan Jaffe (c) Native Plant Trust
Photo by Dan Jaffe (c) Native Plant Trust
Photo by Dan Jaffe (c) Native Plant Trust
Photo by Dan Jaffe (c) Native Plant Trust
Photo by Dan Jaffe (c) Native Plant Trust