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Thimbleweed, Tall Anemone - Anemone virginiana


Family: Ranunculaceae - Buttercup family Genus Common Name: Anemone Native Status: Native
Anemone virginiana - Thimbleweed, Tall Anemone. Anemone virginiana is a tall - for an Anemone - summer-blooming plant, growing up to around three feet tall in rich open forests and thickets. There are three varieties; the one with by far the widest distribution in the United States is var. virginiana, which is widely distributed through the eastern two thirds of the United States, and in Ontario and Quebec in Canada.

The other two varieties are differentiated primarily by sepal length, anther length, and involucre bract shape. Var. cylindoridea is found only in Minnesota and New York in the U.S., but is found in all of the southern tier of provinces in Canada. Var. alba is found from Minnesota eastward in the Canada-bordering states, in New England, and the eastern seaboard south to New Jersey, in eastern Canada, and in Saskatchewan.

Found in:
AL, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY

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Anemone virginiana

Distribution of Anemone virginiana in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 19 Feb 2017). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: Lula Lake, Walker County, Ga Date: 2013-August-03Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
As is typical of Anemone, Thimbleweed has no petals, but has large, showy petal-like sepals. The sepals are usually white or greenish whitish. They are also reported in some descriptions as green, yellow, or red, although I have neither personally seen nor found photos of colors other than white / greenish white. The thimble-like shape of the green pistils yields the common name Thimbleweed.
Anemone virginiana

Site: Lula Lake, Walker County, GA Date: 2013-August-03Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The flowers are solitary held on a long peduncle well above the foliage. There may be several flowers on a plant, each on its own peduncle.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Anemone virginiana

Site: Blue Ridge Parkway, Haywood County, NC Date: 2010-July-12Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Anemone virginiana grows to about 3 feet tall. The stem leaves are in whorls about midway up the stem.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Anemone virginiana

Site: Lula Lake, Walker County, GA Date: 2013-August-03Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Thimbleweed drops its sepals as the fruit develops. The white between the achenes is woolly hair.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Anemone virginiana

Site: Lula Lake, Walker County, GA Date: 2013-August-03Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Both the basal and caudal leaves are trifoliate, with the leaflets usually lobed. The basal leaves are on a long petiole, up to over a foot long.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Anemone virginiana

Site: Dade County, Ga Date: 2013-August-05Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Both the basal and caudal leaves are trifoliate, with the leaflets usually lobed. The stem leaves are on a much shorter petiole than are the basal leaves. The stem leaves are in whorls about midway up the stem.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Anemone virginiana

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer