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 richardsonii Hooker

English: Yellow anemone, Richardson's anemone,

French: Anémone de Richardson.

Ranunculaceae, Buttercup family.

Published in Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1: 6. 1829.

Type: Described from Canada, Melville Island.

Synonymy. Jurtsevia richardsonii (Hooker) Á. Löve and D. Löve, Bot. Not. 128: 511. 1976.

Anemonidium richardsonii (Hooker) Starod., Vetrenitsii: Sistematika i Evolutsiya 151. 1991.

Vegetative morphology. Plants (1–)5–10(–30) cm high; perennial herbs; not caespitose. Only fibrous roots present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal; rhizomatous; elongate. Caudex present (thin, filiform, rhizomatous). Aerial stems erect (flowering stems), or prostrate (vegetative stems). Aerial stem trichomes spreading. Leaves present; arising singly from creeping rhizomes; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent (basal leaves 1). Stipules absent. Petioles present; (8–)10–85(–120) mm long. Leaf blades simple. Leaf blade bases cordate. Blades 10–30 mm long, 15–45 mm wide, spreading, circular or reniform, flat, veins palmate. Blade adaxial surface shiny, glabrous or glabrescent, hairs simple, hairs sparse, hairs white, or translucent. Blade abaxial surface glabrescent or hairy, hairs villous, hairs white. Blades lobed (segments primarily 3, rhombic; lateral segments unlobed or with a single lobe, ultimate lobes 1–10(-15) mm wide). Blade margins crenate or serrate, with teeth all around the blade; apices acute, or obtuse.

Reproductive morphology. Plants bisexual. Flowering stems without leaves. Flowers solitary. Involucral bracts present (2–3, 1-tiered, simple, more or less similar to the basal leaf, primarily rhombic, 10–35 mm, bases distinct, cuneate, margins crenate towards the apex, apex acute to narrowly acute, surfaces villous, glabrescent or glabrous; segments 3, primarily rhombic; lateral segments unlobed 2–10 mm wide). Flowers large. Sepals conventional; (4–)6(–8); free; 4–10 mm long (elliptic); 8–15 mm wide; yellow (rarely abaxially yellow, tinged blue, and adaxially yellow); petaloid. Calyx hairy (abaxially villous, especially towards the apex, adaxially glabrous). Calyx hairs white or translucent. Petals absent (but the sepals are coloured and resemble petals). Stamens 30–40; stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers 0.65–0.75 mm long. Receptacle 3–5 mm high. Ovary carpels 20–35(–55); apocarpous. Stigmas per ovary 1. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit stalk 8–14 mm long; dry; an aggregate of achenes; ovoid, or oblong; brown; 3–4 mm long; 1.2–1.7 mm wide; indehiscent (glabrous, not winged). Styles modified and persisting; remaining straight (beak recurved); persisting in fruit 3–6 mm long. Seeds 1 (per achene).

Chromosome information. 2n = 14.

2n (2x) = 14. Bormann and Beatty (1955, Alaska); Heimburger (1959, Alaska); Zhukova (1966, 1982, northeastern Asia); Johnson and Packer (1968, northwestern Alaska); Sokolovskaya (1968, northeastern Asia, Koryak); Zhukova et al. (1973, 1977, northeastern Asia); Zhukova and Petrovsky (1976, western Chukotka; 1987b, northern Siberia); Löve and Löve (1982, Arctic Canada); Starodubtsev (1982, northeastern Asia, Magadan; 1983, 1991, northeastern Asia).

Ploidy levels recorded 2x.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: wet meadows, snow patches, along streams; imperfectly drained moist areas; till, moss; peat; acidic, or circum-neutral. Porsild (1957) considered this a subarctic species of moist herbmats and willow thickets. Elven (personal communication, 2005) has found this species occurs on snow-bank environments, late snow-covered damp meadow vegetation, and brook margins. He had also found it rather indifferent to pH, rather than preferring acidic sites.

North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador. Low Arctic. Arctic islands: Parry islands (Melville Island), Victoria.

Northern hemisphere distribution. North American, or Cordilleran (eastern). Kharaulakh, Yana–Kolyma, West Chukotka, Wrangel Island, South Chukotka, East Chukotka, West Alaska, North Alaska – Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador – Hudson Bay, West Greenland.

General notes. This showy anemone is named for John Richardson who was the surgeon-naturalist with the Franklin expedition of 1819–1822. This is the only northern anemone with yellow flowers. Richardson's anemone can be found in bloom until late in the season by searching in areas where snow banks persist. It also grows in moist, sheltered areas under willows, usually on continental North America (Burt 2000).

Illustrations. • Close-up of plant. Flowering plant in lush snowbank environment. Alaska, Seward Peninsula, Arctic Creek along Teller road. July, 1998. Photograph by R. Elven. No voucher. • Close-up of plant. Plants in lush snowbank meadow. Alaska, Krusenstern National Monument, Sheshalik. July, 2001. Photograph by H. Solstad. • Close-up of flower. Flowers that look like buttercups. However, Anemone has only one whorl of tepals, whereas Ranunculus has both sepals and petals. Alaska, Krusenstern National Monument, Sheshalik. July, 2001. Photograph by H. Solstad. • Plant habit. Isolated yellow flower. Plants growing on a dry bank. N.W.T., Banks Island, Sachs Harbour. 22 July, 1981. J.M. Gillett 18763. CAN. • Herbarium specimen. Note the lobed and serrate leaf-like involucral bract on the flowering stem. N.W.T., near Brintnell Lake. 5 July, 1939. H.M. Raup and J.H. Soper 9389. CAN 268671. • Close-up of fruiting specimen. Styles remain attached to the heads of the achenes. N.W.T., Kazan River. 1–15 August, 1930. A.E. Porsild 5801. CAN 57480. • 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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