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Anemone quinquefolia (Wood anemone) | NPIN

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Anemone quinquefolia (Wood anemone)
Patrie, Phil

Anemone quinquefolia

Anemone quinquefolia L.

Wood anemone, Nightcaps

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)


USDA Symbol: anqu

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A low, delicate plant with a whorl of 3 stalked, deeply cut leaves and a solitary, stalked white flower. Slender 4-8 in. stalk has basal leaves and a whorl of 3- to 5-parted leaves at its apex. A single white or pink flower arises above the leaf whorl. Solitary divided leaves also arise from the rootstock. Disappears after blooming.

This is an early spring wildflower which often forms sizable stands on woodland borders. Since Anemones are usually slender-stalked and tremble in the breeze, they have been called Wind Flowers.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: Northern Ont. & e. Man., s. to MD, KY & e. NE; also mts. to GA
Native Habitat: Woodland, Forest Edge

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Damp, rich, mucky soils
Conditions Comments: Forms colonies and makes a ground cover for open woods.


Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts when fresh. Toxic only if eaten in large quantities. Symptoms include inflammation and blistering upon contact with fresh sap and irritation of the mouth, vomiting and diarrhea following ingestion. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Propagate by root cuttings, rootstock divisions or seed. Seeds ripen quickly and should be sown immediately after ripening. Seedlings will produce flowers in 3-4 years.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store


* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

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Recommended Species Lists

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Anemone quinquefolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Anemone quinquefolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Anemone quinquefolia


Record Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff

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