Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Anemone L.

English: Anemone.

Ranunculaceae, Buttercup family.

Published in Sp. Pl. 538.1753.

Synonymy. Pulsatilla Mill., Gard. Dict. Abr., ed. 4, 28. 1754.

Jurtsevia Á. Löve and D. Löve, Bot. Not. 128: 511. 1976.

Anemonidium (Spach) Á. Löve and D. Löve, Taxon 31: 124. 1982.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 1–35 cm high; perennial herbs; not caespitose. Only fibrous roots present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal; rhizomatous; elongate. Ground level or underground stems scales present (if applicable). Caudex present. Aerial stems erect. Leaves arising singly from creeping rhizomes, or basal in a rosette; erect; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent. Stipules absent. Petioles present; 10–120 mm long. Leaf blades simple, or compound. Leaf blade bases cordate. Blades 10–40 mm long, 10–55 mm wide, spreading, circular or reniform, flat or revolute, veins pinnate or veins palmate. Blade adaxial surface dull or shiny, glabrous or glabrescent or hairy, hairs villous or short-silky, hairs simple, hairs sparse, hairs white, or translucent. Blade abaxial surface glabrescent or hairy, hairs villous or short-silky, hairs sparse or moderately dense, hairs white. Blades lobed. Blade margins serrate or crenate or deeply divided, glabrous or with non-glandular hairs, with teeth all around the blade; apices acute, or obtuse. Leaflet arrangement palmate (trifoliate, if applicable). Leaflets 3; (5–)7–18(–22) mm long; 5–15 mm wide; obovate, or obtriangular (if applicable); veins conspicuous, or veins inconspicuous. Apical leaflet base not distinctly stipitate (if applicable).

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems conspicuously taller than the leaves; with leaves (strictly involucral leaves), or without leaves; not rooting at the lower nodes. Leaf or reduced bract subtending the base of the inflorescence absent; without calloused tip. Flowers solitary. Involucral bracts present. Flowers large. Sepals conventional; 4–8; free; 4–15 mm long; (7–)10–45 mm wide; yellow, or purple, or red, or blue, or white; petaloid. Calyx hairy. Calyx hairs villous; non-glandular; white or translucent (on the upper surface), or brown (underneath). Petals absent (but the sepals are coloured and resemble petals; the anemones in the Arctic have a whorl of leaves surrounding the flowering stem below the inflorescence.). Stamens 30–85; stamen filaments all equal in length; stamen filaments glabrous; free of the corolla. Anthers 0.65–1.8 mm long. Receptacle 2–6 mm high. Ovary carpels 20–85; apocarpous. Ovaries hairy; villous. Ovary hairs very dense; white. Styles 2–3 mm long. Stigmas per ovary 1. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit stalk 4–20 mm long; dry; an aggregate of achenes; ellipsoid, or ovoid, or elongate-cylindrical, or obovate, or oblong; brown; 2–45 mm long; 0.8–1.7(–70) mm wide; glabrous, or hairy; indehiscent. Styles modified and persisting; remaining straight; persisting in fruit 0.8–38 mm long. Seeds 1.

Chromosome information. 2n = 14, or 16, or 32.

North American distribution. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago limited, or moderate. Uncommon, rare. Low Arctic, alpine, boreal. Arctic islands: Parry islands (Melville Island), Banks, Victoria.

General notes. The anemones are called ‘windflowers’ because they are generally alpine flowers, often growing in windy places and tall enough to be blown about by the wind. Many of the arctic anemones might be called ?snow-bank? species because they occur at the edges of deep, late-melting snow banks. Plants that occur in such places are not necessarily the most hardy plants, nor those of the greatest ?arctic affinities? (Young 1989). Snow banks becomes established during the soft, heavy snows of autumn, and become deepest where the most snow collects. This means that the plants under the snow are the ones receiving the greatest insulation and protection from the desiccating winds of winter. They also benefit from a steady source of reliable moisture during the growing season. Snow-bank species are "quick starters"; they are able to start growing very quickly when exposed by snowmelt (Burt 2000) and probably even more important, they are protected against low temperatures. In Norway, "snow-bank" plants are very often damaged by early, late, or unusual midsummer frosts (Elven, personal communication, 2005).

Elven et al. (2003) were aware of a need to decide between a narrow genus concept, including in Anemone the genera Anemonoides Mill., Anemonastrum Holub, and Anemonidium (Spach), or a broad concept that has been followed here. Anemone s.s. includes A. parviflora, Anemonastrum the A. narcissiflora aggregate, and Jurtsevia includes A. ranunculoides. A broad concept should possibly also include Pulsatilla, which we have done here. Inclusion of all the others but exclusion of Pulsatilla is not in accordance with assumed phylogeny of the group. Elven et al. (2003) retained Pulsatilla as a genus.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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