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 parviflora Michx.

English: Northern white anemone, small-flowered anemone,

French: Anémone à petites fleurs.

Ranunculaceae, Buttercup family.

Published in Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1: 319.1803.

Type: Described from Canada: Hudson Bay area.

Synonymy. Anemone borealis Richardson, in Franklin, First Journal ed 2. App. 22. 1823.

Anemone parviflora var. grandiflora Ulbrich, Engler's Bot. Jahrb. 37: 251. 1906.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 5–15(–35) cm high; perennial herbs; not caespitose. Only fibrous roots present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal, or absent (rhizomes often not collected); compact (usually), or elongate; 0.5–2.5 mm wide. Caudex present (well developed in older plants). Aerial stems erect. Aerial stem trichomes appressed, or spreading. Leaves present; mainly basal, or basal in a rosette (with 1–5(-7) leaves); alternate; dying annually and non-persistent. Stipules absent. Petioles 20–55(–100) mm long. Leaf blades compound (basal leaves), or simple (deeply divided involucral bracts). Blades 14–18 mm long, 10–14 mm wide, spreading, obovate, flat, veins pinnate. Blade adaxial surface shiny, glabrescent, hairs simple. Blade abaxial surface glabrescent, hairs sparse, hairs white. Blade margins flat, blades lobed. Blade margins crenate or serrate, with non-glandular hairs, with teeth toward the apex; apices obtuse (to truncate). Leaflet arrangement palmate. Leaflets 3; (5–)7–18(–22) mm long; 5–13 mm wide; obovate, or obtriangular (the terminal leaflet base cuneate, lateral leaflets usually once lobed, ultimate lobes 4–15 mm wide); veins conspicuous, or veins inconspicuous. Apical leaflet base not distinctly stipitate.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems with leaves (strictly involucral leaves), or without leaves. Flowers solitary. Involucral bracts present (2–3, 1-tiered, simple, more or less similar to terminal leaflets of basal leaves). Flowers large. Sepals conventional; 4–7; free; 4–9 mm long (resembling the terminal leaflets of the basal leaves, cleft, obtriangular 3-cleft, 5–15(-30) mm, bases distinct, cuneate, margins create to broadly serrate, surfaces villous to nearly glabrous, segments 3, oblanceolate to obovate; lateral segments unlobed 2–4(-8) mm wide); (7–)10–20 mm wide; white (on the upper surface, sometimes with a bluish tinge towards the apex), or blue (on the underside); petaloid. Calyx hairy. Calyx hairs white or translucent (on the upper surface), or brown (underneath). Petals absent (but the sepals are coloured and resemble petals). Stamens (60–)70–80; stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers 0.8–1.2 mm long. Receptacle 3–6 mm high. Ovary carpels 60–80; apocarpous. Stigmas per ovary 1. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit stalk 4–18 mm long; dry; an aggregate of achenes; elongate-cylindrical; brown; 2–3 mm long; 1–1.5 mm wide (beak 1–2.5); hairy (densely woolly); indehiscent. Styles modified and persisting; remaining straight; persisting in fruit 1–2 mm long.

Chromosome information. 2n = 16 and 32.

2n (2x) = 16. Löve and Löve (1975) listed several arctic and non-arctic counts, e.g., Packer (1964, western Canada); Zhukova (1965a, 1969, northeastern Asia); Taylor and Brockman (1966, western Canada); Johnson and Packer (1968, northwestern Alaska); Baumberger (1970); Zhukova and Tikhonova (1971, Chukotka); Löve and Löve (1982, Arctic Canada); Zhukova (1982, northeastern Asia); Chinnappa and Chmielewski (1987, western North America);

2n(4x) = 32. Baumberger (1970).

A chromosome count of 2n = 14 (Bormann and Beatty, 1955, Alaska, Umiat) might be aneuploidy or a slight miscount. It has not been accepted until confirmed (Elven et al. 2003).

Ploidy levels recorded 2x/4x.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: calcareous, or non-calcareous. Porsild (1957) considered this species to be restricted to southern and favourable exposures and to calcareous soil in the western arctic islands. Burt (2000) noted that the arctic coast region, this anemone commonly occurs at the edges of high-tundra ponds, and in protected areas where snow banks linger into the summer. It seems to prefer calcareous soils.

North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories Islands, continental Northwest Territories, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago limited. Uncommon. Low Arctic, alpine. Arctic islands: Banks, Victoria.

Northern hemisphere distribution. Amphi-Beringian, or North American. East Chukotka, West Alaska, North Alaska – Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador – Hudson Bay.

General notes. Burt (2000) said that in northcentral continental North America, this species can be confused with the flower of the akpik, or cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), but the akpik has both petals and sepals, and its stem leaves are alternate rather than whorled and much larger than the anemone. On continental North America when this anemone is in full bloom, it is much taller and more flexible than the cloudberry.

Illustrations. • Habitat: Victoria Island. Lower left, plants with white flowers growing in mossy soil of a southwest facing slope in an erosion gully from snow melt. Plant 15 cm tall. Nunavut, Victoria Island, Mount Pelly, 6910'N, 10443'W. Elev. ca. 110 metres. L. L. Consaul 1117 and L.J. Gillespie. • Habitat: Banks Island. Plants with white flowers near the centre of the picture, growing on a south facing slope of a side stream that still has frozen snow banks along the edge. N.W.T., Banks Island, Aulavik National Park. 4 July, 1999. Aiken 99–017. CAN. • Habitat: Banks Island. Plants near centre of the picture growing on a south facing slope of a side stream. N.W.T., Banks Island, Aulavik National Park. 4 July, 1999. Aiken 99–017. CAN. • Plant habit. Plants growing on a south facing slope of a side stream. Note the dark green leaves. N.W.T., Banks Island, Aulavik National Park. 4 July, 1999. Aiken 99–017. CAN. Scale bar in cm. • Close-up of flowers. Flowers showing numerous anthers and carpels. Note the varying numbers of tepals that are white when viewed from above. N.W.T., Banks Island, Aulavik National Park. 4 July, 1999. Aiken 99–017. CAN. • Underside of tepals. Flowers showing the underside of the tepals that are blue-purple. Where the tepals overlap, they give a shadow-like impression of a sepal though there is only one perianth whorl. Note the single tier of involucral leaves. N.W.T., Banks Island, Aulavik National Park. 4 July, 1999. Aiken 99–017. CAN. • Flower pre-anthesis. Petals slightly notched with numerous anthers forming a ring of yellow knobs beside the petals; developing carpels spiky in the centre of the flower. N.W.T., Banks Island, Aulavik National Park. 4 July, 1999. Aiken 99–017. CAN. • Close-up of fruiting inflorescence. Fruiting head with achenes dehiscing from the receptacle. Each achene, containing a seed, is developed from a single carpel. N.W.T., on the Arctic Coast at Cape Dalhousie. 7–14 August, 1927. A.E. and R.T. Porsild 2756. CAN 57598. • Arctic Island Distribution.


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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