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Meadow anemone naturalizes well in moist areas.
USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database (, 5 October 2012). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Anemone canadensis

Meadow anemone (No Advance Orders)

Native to North America


NO ADVANCE ORDERS (NAO) - A selection of plants are NAO-No Advanced Orders. They have proved to be tricky; acquiring propagules, producing them, or getting them through the winter. We only put them on our availability lists when they are ready to ship. No hopes dashed. Plants must ship within 2 weeks or their availability date. 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:  Anemone canadensis is a perennial groundcover that spreads vigorously from underground rhizomes.   Leaves are attractive and lobed.  Clear white cup shaped flowers clothe the plants in late spring and summer. Plants have an aggressive nature but can really fill the bill if you need a vigorous groundcover for a difficult wet spot.

HABITAT & HARDINESS:  This native is found in moist meadows and prairies, sedge meadows, moist open woodlands, along creek banks and in swampy areas.  Can often be found in disturbed sites like thickets, right of ways and ditches as long as moisture and sun is abundant.  Range extends throughout Northern portions of the Eastern and Western United States and into Canada.

Plants are hardy in USDA Zones 3-8.

PLANT DESCRIPTION: Plants are low growing and spreading. They form colonies that will swallow less vigorous plants. 

The lobed leaves are striking – somewhat like a toned-down foam flower.  Foliage is usually healthy since leaves contain a chemical that repels insects and mammalian browsers.

Flowers are solitary and borne in large numbers.  They have 5 white petal-like sepals and numerous golden yellow stamens. Blooms are very showy in spring and early summer.  When in full bloom, flowers are reminiscent of tiny white poppies.

Foliage is l about a foot tall but flowers may reach 18”.  Space plants 1’ apart and they will usually give good coverage the first year.

CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS:  Culture is easy as long as plants have sun or part shade and a moist or wet soil. 

Plants tolerate alkaline pH.

Flowering may stop if plants become too crowded.  The remedy for the situation is to divide plants in the fall.

Anemone canadensis may be too aggressive for small residential gardens with moist fertile soil.  Confine by planting between sidewalks or installing a barrier in the ground.  Plants are not as vigorous if planted in drier soil or in shade.

LANDSCAPE USES:  Useful as a Mass or Groundcover in moist sunny or shaded sites especially if quick coverage is desired.  Plants can be used as an Accent or as part of a Group.  They provide Erosion Control and Showy Blooms and are valuable components of Cottage Gardens, Deer Resistant Plantings, Meadow or Prairie Gardens, Perennial Borders, Roadsides, Restoration Projects, Shade Gardens, Wetlands and Wildlife Gardens.

COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS:  Choosing companion plants for Anemone canadensis is tricky.  Tall plants can cast so much shade that the anemone declines.  Well behaved low growing plants are usually overwhelmed by the anemone.  Lobelia cardinalis, Liatris spicata and Amsonia tabernaemontana are colorful companions that provide a nice backdrop.  Aquilegia canadensis and Sisyrinchium angustifolium ‘Suwannee’ have blooms that coincide with those of the anemone.  Carex bicknellii would be a wonderful helpmate in situations where erosion is an issue.

If a substitute is needed, take a look at Anemone virginiana.

TRIVIA: Like other members of the Buttercup Family, the showy flowers of Anemone canadensis actually have no petals. Instead they have colored sepals. 

Beneficial native bees and other pollinators visit the flowers usually seeking pollen rather than nectar.


1-2 ft


2-3 ft


18-24 in

USDA Hardiness Zone:


Bloom Color:


Anemone canadensis Characteristics


  • Clay Soil
  • Naturalizing


  • Full Sun to Partial Shade

Flowering Months

  • June
  • May
  • April

Foliage Color

  • Green

Juglans nigra Tolerance (Black Walnut)

  • Yes

Soil Moisture Preference

  • Moist to Wet

Interesting Notes:

For more information on this plant, visit the USDA PLANTS Database:

Plants that work well with Anemone canadensis ''

Cardinal flower Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Dense blazing star Dense blazing star (Liatris spicata)
Blue-eyed grass Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium 'Suwannee')
Canada Bluejoint Canada Bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis)
Cardinal flower Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis 'New Moon Maroon')
Green bulrush Green bulrush (Scirpus atrovirens)
Lance-leaved loostrife Lance-leaved loostrife (Lysimachia lanceolata 'GroWild Child')