Anemone virginiana, Thimbleweed

Anemone virginiana


  • Full sun to moderate shade (will grow in quite a bit of shade but may not bloom in deep shade)
  • Dry to moist soil
  • 24" to 42" tall, 12" to 24" spread 
  • Ontario Native, Beginner Friendly, Happy in meadows and open woodlands, as well as cultivated gardens.

Early to appear in the spring and standing tall into the winter, this understated plant brings architectural form to a native plant garden (or any other garden), over a very long season, stretching from early spring into the winter. 

These photos range from April to November and you can see how the seed heads continue visual interest to the garden for several months. Even if all of the seeds blow away over the winter, some of the woolly fluff will remain on the core of the flower into the spring, which is when hummingbirds may seek it out for building their tiny, soft nests.

This species of Anemone spreads by seed, rather than through rhizomes, so those who are a bit Anemone shy from to an encounter with the endless exuberant Canada Anemone can introduce this to the garden without anxiety. They do seed, but not terribly quickly (possibly all those creatures gathering seed fluff for nest building?) and tend to play quite gently with others in garden settings.

The only possible garden setting issue is if they have a rich garden soil and insufficient support from their neighbours. In this situation they can develop a rather pronounced lean as the seed heads mature. In leaner soils or with plenty of neighbours they hold a strong, vertical silhouette right through into the winter.

In garden settings I find they grow to between 2’ and 3’ tall and 12” to 18” in spread. In a dry woodland or meadow they tend more to 18” to 24” in height and 12” in spread.

Perfectly happy in dappled shade or full sun and equally adaptable to average and dry soil conditions (I’m not sure either way about wetter settings) these are an entirely fuss-free species in my experience. Pretty much the only ‘tending’ they receive from me is the occasional relocation of a seedling to a location that better suits their needs.

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The Online Plant Nursery will re-open for orders on Tuesday, May 17th

Pickups will begin the following week.

I will be offering plug sized plants for $1.25 each or 5 for $5. 

I'm in the process of adding species that I expect to offer this spring to the listings since they are starting to germinate and I'm starting to get an idea of which will be available in abundant quantities.

Since the list is much longer this year I've added several categories to help narrow down your options based on a variety of criteria.

For those who have already adopted seedlings, planting instructions can be found here.