E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Anemone patens (Pritzel) Hult.
Prairie Crocus
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #84035)

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Distribution of Anemone patens
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Species Information

Perennial herb from a woody stem-base surmounting a taproot; stems 1 to many, erect, 5-25 (35) cm tall; more or less greyish long-hairy throughout.
Basal, (3) 5 to 8 (10), ascending, 4-10 cm wide, mostly 3-parted with each leaflet dichotomously dissected, the ultimate segments linear, 1-3 mm wide, soft-hairy, rarely smooth; stalks 5-10 cm long.
Inflorescence a solitary, terminal flower; flower stalks soft-hairy, sometimes becoming smooth in age; involucral bracts mostly 3, leaf-like but differing from basal leaves, simple, unstalked, bases clasping and joined, margins deeply incised throughout, segments usually 4 to 6, long and slender or linear, not lobed, generally soft-hairy, rarely smooth; petals absent; sepals 5 to 8, petal-like, blue or purple, rarely nearly white, oblong to elliptic, 20-40 mm long, 10-15 mm wide, hairy outside, smooth inside; stamens 150-200.
Achenes, numerous in a spheric to egg-shaped head on stalks 10-18 cm long, the achenes ellipsoid to egg-shaped, 3-4 mm long, about 1 mm wide, not winged, soft-hairy; beaks (styles) curved, 2-4 cm long, short-feathery-hairy.
The Eurasian material (ssp. patens) appears to be scarcely distinguishable from the North American plants.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry meadows and forest openings from the steppe to the subalpine zones; common in extreme N and E BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to W ON and S to MI, MO, TX, UT and ID.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Anemone patens

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 690 1058 2408
Slope Gradient (%) 0 18 92
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
25 202 345
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(2), ESSF(12), IDF(38), IMA(1), MS(6), PP(59), SWB(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References