Canada Anemone
Anemone canadensis
Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae)

Description: The name anemone is derived from the Greek word anemos which means wind, giving us the common name of windflower for many of the anemone species.Perennial with white flower with 5 petal-like sepals, 1 to 1 - 1/2" wide, with a yellow center. The flower sits upon a single, hairy stalk reaching heights up to 2 feet tall. The basal leaves are coarsely toothed and deeply divided into three narrow segments. As you progress up the stalk the leaves are equally toothed and divided, however; they are stalkless and are whorled around the plant stem. This plant spreads by the underground rhizome or roots, allowing this plant to cover large areas of the ground in a region.  Blooms midsummer.  The round, green fruit with its prickly surface is up to a centimetre long, about the size of an eraser at the tip of a pencil.

Cultivation: Likes sun but tolerates partial shade, acid soil.

Range & Habitat: Hardy in zones 2 to 6.  Moist areas; invasive.

Propagation and Reproduction: Seeds do best when given a period of cold, moist stratification to facilitate germination.  Takes 2 years to germinate fully when planted outdoors.  Sow them outdoors in late fall or stratify them in a refrigerator for two months before planting. To do this, mix your seeds with equal amounts of damp (moist, but not so wet as to be able to squeeze water out of it with your hand) sand, vermiculite or other sterile media.  Place the mixture in a sealed plastic bag and store it in a refrigerator at 33 - 38 degrees.

Uses: Astringent and styptic. Ameican Indians made a tea of the roots to ease the discomfort of headache and for dizziness.  Root or leaf tea was used as a wash or poultice for wounds, sores and nosebleeds.  Eyewash was used for twitching and to cure cross-eyes.  The root was chewed to clear the throat before singing.  Among certain Plains Indian groups, the root was highly esteemed as an external medicine for many ailments, and mystical qualities were attributed to the plant.

Comment: There are over 80 species of anemone throughout the world, only 25 found in North America.   The name is Semitic for Adonis, from whose blood the flower supposedly sprang.  Also it is said that the flowers sprang from Aphrodite's tears as she wept for the slain Adonis. Endangered in some states of the US.  Caustic irritants present in all the Buttercup family.