Anemone drummondii : Drummond's Wind-flower


Scientific Name:

Kingdom: Plantae


Class: Dicoteldonae (two seed-leaves)

Family: Ranunculaceae (Crowfoot/Buttercup Family)

Genera: Anemone (Wind-flower) (Gk. anemos = wind; possibly referring to the habitat of these plants in exposed windy places)

Species: drummondii

Synonym(s): A. lithophyla, A. multiceps, Pulsatilla multiceps

English Name(s):

Drummond's Wind-flower, Many-edged Windflower

First Nation Names:



  • Plant tufted, herbaceous (not woody) with colourless acrid (bitter) juice.
  • Stems 20-30cm high.
  • Taproot stout, dark brown, branching.


  • Soft silky pubescent (hairy) becoming glabrate with age.
  • Basal leaves longpetioled (stalked).
  • Blade 3-4 cleft into linear (narrow) segments.
  • Cauline (on stem) leaves sessile (not stalked), whorled and forming a leafy involucrum (ring) below the flowers.

Reproductive Parts:

  • Flowers perfect (bisexual) and of regular symmetry, usually solitary, 2-3cm in diameter.
  • Sepals petal-like, ovate in shape, appressed-pubescent, white or often pale blue on outer side.
  • Petals lacking.
  • Styles (female part) long and straight, creamy white to wine red, persisting.
  • Ovaries superior (above floral parts).


  • Fruiting head globose or ovate in shape, 8-16mm long.
  • Fruit a dry, densely wooly, achene.

Not to Be Confused With:

  • Anemone multifida (Cut-leaf Windflower) which can be distinguished by its taller stature and can have up to 3 flowers.
  • Anemone narcissiflora (Narcissus Windflower) which can be distinguished by its elongated, glabrous achenes.
  • Anemone parviflora (Arctic Windflower) which can be distinguished by its rhizomatous (underground stems) rather than tufted nature.



  • The fruits are dispersed by wind, with the hairy style acting as the organ of flight.

Life Cycle:

Seasonal Cycle:

  • plants deciduous from rootstock.
  • Flowers bloom in early June.


Animal Uses:

  • The flowers of these plants pruduce large amounts of pollen as a reward for insect pollinators, but very little nectar.
  • Apparently Anemone (Windflower) species are not well liked as food by either domestic nor wild animals.


  • Scree slopes, dry rocky ledges, and heathy areas.





  • Plants are used by herbalists to treat abrasions, toothed ache and rheumatism.
  • Plants contain the antibiotics anemonin and protoanemonin which are active against broad-spectrum bacteria.


  • Caution: These plants are related to Delphinium and may cause simmilar poisoning. Anemone are listed as poisonous in many publications.

Traditional Gwich'in:





          Traditional Other:


          • According to the Victorian Language of Flowers, Anemones symbolize berevity and expectation.
          • Greeks legend says a beautiful nymph named Anemone was part of the entourage of chloris the goddess of flowers. She was lusted by the goddess's husband and was turned into a flower.
          • Romans would pick the first Anemone of the year with the incantation "I gather thee for a remedy against disease".
          • Some cultures believed breathing the air tainted by Anemone perfume would cause illness or breathing difficulties.



            • Both Victorians and Romans used these plants to cure sex related difficulties.
            • Roots of these plants were boiled and the decoction was used to treat paralysis, without much effect, and used for rheumatism and melancholy.
            • The cotton from ripe seed heads was burned on hot coals and the smoke was inhaled to relieve headaches.



              Plants in bloom

              Flowers top view

              Flowers side view


              Illustrated flora of BC

              Range Maps

              World Range: Cordilleran; AK through BC and western AB to MT.

              Prov/State Abrev. List

              In Yukon: Found in mountain areas north to Arctic coast.

              To Top Of Page