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Manitoba Museum

Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)

Prairie Crocus

Anemone patens L.

This perennial is one of the first to bloom in the spring and is the provincial flower of Manitoba. Its saucer-shaped, reflective interior surface and hairiness help concentrate the warmth of the sun, which it is always facing, making it a popular spot for insects to warm up. Plants contain a blistering compound and are poisonous to humans and sheep in large quantities. Flowers have abundant pollen, which is attractive to small bees and other insects that act as pollinators.

Flower Colour:

  • Purple

Flowering Season:

  • Spring
  • Summer

Flowering Months:

  • April
  • June
  • May

Canadian Rarity Status:

Not rare. Listed as “may be at risk” in Nunavut and Ontario.

Physical Appearance:

The long-stalked basal leaves are deeply palmately divided into linear lobes with sparsely-toothed edges and hairy undersides. Hairy flowering stems have a whorl of three small leaves, grow 15-35 cm, and are topped by a single flower. Petals are absent; flowers have 5-8 petal-like, hairy sepals, a cluster of styles, and numerous yellow stamens. Fruits are furry, egg-shaped achenes with a long, feathery style, and are distributed by the wind.

Gardening Notes:

Seeds and/or plants are often available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants. Plants are a good addition to dry prairie gardens. They can be propagated by seed, but these are slow to germinate and may not flower until their 3rd or 4th year.

Canadian Distribution:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

Prairie Types:

  • Fescue Prairie
  • Mixed Grass Prairie
  • Tall Grass Prairie


  • Alpine Zones
  • Prairies
  • Railways
  • Savannahs

Moisture Conditions:

  • Dry
  • Moderate

Light Preference:

  • Full Sun

Soil Preference:

  • Gravel
  • Loam
  • Sand
Prairie Crocus