Native Plant of the Week: Thimbleweed ~ Anemone cylindrica

Other Common Name: Candle Anemone

Thimbleweed is fairly common in our area in Central Minnesota. I often see it in old fields in dry, well drained soil and on the sunny edges of woodlands.

Right now, the seed heads look like tufts of cotton as the fluffy white material surrounding the seeds is breaking away from the center cone. This is actually one of the most attractive or showy features of this native forb, when planted in a mass these late fall seed heads can provide a lot of interest in the fall garden.

Thimble Anemone has white to light green, five petaled flowers like other native Anemones, but the flowers aren't as big in diameter as the Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis) for example. The green center cone sticking up above the upward curving petals gives this Anemone a unique look. In Central Minnesota, the flowers open from early to late June.

Thimble Anemone has leaves that are similar in appearance to Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) with a lobed palmate shape.

Image Credit: S & A Wasowski
Image Source
The leaves turn anywhere from a bright orange to red to burgundy in color in late fall when the fluffy seeds are developing.

The leaves are arranged in a whorled pattern midway up the stem along with some long stemmed basal leaves and the occasional opposite pair on the upper part of the stem. (

Thimble Anemone is native to much of North America, except for the southern most U.S. States and northern Canadian territories.

Fall leaf color
Bare root plants and seeds are available for sale at Prairie Moon Nursery. It is listed as easy to grow from seed in their catalog.