overlay image

Manitoba Museum

Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)

Cut-leaved Anemone

Anemone multifida Poir.

This common prairie perennial has flowers with no obvious scent. The flower colour ranges from white to pink or red depending on the growing conditions. Although fresh parts of the plant are toxic to humans in large quantities, they have been used by Indigenous people for medicinal purposes. Pollinators of this species are not well documented, but flowers are known to be visited by bees in the springtime.

Flower Colour:

  • White

Flowering Season:

  • Spring
  • Summer

Flowering Months:

  • August
  • July
  • June
  • May

Canadian Rarity Status:

Not rare. Listed as “sensitive” in British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland/Labrador, and “may be at risk” in Nova Scotia.

Physical Appearance:

Numerous, slender stems grow 10-70 cm tall, and are loosely clumped. The 3-6 long-stalked, hairy basal leaves are palmately divided into several narrow lobes. Flowers occur in terminal clusters of 1-7 on several stalks. Each flower has 5-9 petal-like, egg-shaped, hairy sepals, 50-80 whitish stamens, and is backed by 1-2 whorls of leaf-like bracts. Fruits are numerous, flat, oval-shaped achenes, in a spherical head.

Similar Species:

Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis L.)

Gardening Notes:

Seeds and/or plants are often available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants. Can be propagated using seed or by dividing established plants.

Canadian Distribution:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland/Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

Prairie Types:

  • Fescue Prairie
  • Mixed Grass Prairie
  • Tall Grass Prairie


  • Open Woodlands
  • Prairies
  • River Valleys
  • Rocky Slopes
  • Savannahs

Moisture Conditions:

  • Moderate
  • Moist

Light Preference:

  • Full Sun
  • Part Shade
  • Shade

Soil Preference:

  • Calcareous
  • Gravel
  • Loam
  • Sand
Cut-leaved Anemone