River Anemone Anemone rivularis

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
riverside windflower


The plant in question, commonly known as the river anemone, typically exhibits a lush foliage appearance, with leaves that are deeply divided into three primary lobes, each of which can be further subdivided into smaller segments giving them a somewhat fern-like aesthetic. These leaves often have a somewhat rounded to heart-shaped base and are borne on slender stems that arise from the base of the plant. The river anemone is particularly noted for its graceful flowers, which are borne on erect, slender flowering stems, rising above the leafy foliage. The flowers of this plant are often solitary, although sometimes they can occur in a loose cluster. Each flower is characterized by a whorl of showy, petal-like sepals, which are often white or pale blue, and may have a slightly darker shade or a vein-like pattern. In the center of these sepals, numerous stamens are visible, which can be yellow, adding to the ornamental appeal of the plant. These stamens surround the central green or yellowish pistils. Additionally, the river anemone's flowers have a delicate, silky appearance and are known for their aesthetic display, which can attract various pollinators during their blooming season. After flowering, the plant produces follicles which contain the seeds for the next generation. The fruiting structure may offer a different texture and visual interest, although it is less conspicuous than the blooming phase. The overall appearance of the plant is one that adds a naturalistic and gentle beauty to the landscape where it grows.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      River Anemone, Mountain Thimbleweed, Rivularis Anemone.

    • Common names

      Anemonidium rivulare, Anemone delavayi var. rivularis.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Anemone rivularis, commonly known as river anemone, is toxic to humans. All parts of the plant contain toxins, which can cause severe irritation to the skin and mucous membranes upon contact. If ingested, the river anemone may lead to symptoms such as salivation, mouth pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and rarely, respiratory or cardiac complications. Handling or ingesting any part of the river anemone should be avoided to prevent toxic effects.

    • To pets

      River anemone is toxic to pets. Similar to its effects on humans, the entire plant contains irritants that can cause significant discomfort and symptoms if ingested by pets. These symptoms can include drooling, oral pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, ingestion of the river anemone can lead to more serious issues such as respiratory or cardiac problems. It is important to prevent pets from accessing or consuming any part of the plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Spread

      1 feet (0.30 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Anemone rivularis, also known as River Anemone, is valued for its aesthetic appeal due to its delicate white flowers that add beauty to gardens and landscapes.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The River Anemone attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies, which can help pollinate other plants in the garden.
    • Low Maintenance: Being a hardy perennial, it requires relatively low maintenance, making it suitable for various garden settings.
    • Shade Tolerance: This plant can thrive in partially shaded environments where other plants may struggle to grow.
    • Seasonal Interest: The flowering season of Anemone rivularis provides a display of blossoms typically during spring or early summer, adding seasonal interest to the planting area.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antirheumatic: Anemone rivularis is traditionally used to relieve rheumatic pain.
    • Antibacterial: Some studies suggest the plant has antibacterial properties, potentially effective against certain strains of bacteria.
    • Anti-inflammatory: The plant's extracts might be used to reduce inflammation.
    • Antipyretic: Anemone rivularis is believed to be useful in reducing fever in traditional medicinal systems.
    • Analgesic: It may be used to alleviate pain, according to traditional medicine practices.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Anemone rivularis, commonly known as "river anemone," can be used as a dye plant, providing a greenish color when used with alum as a mordant.
    • The fibers from river anemone can be utilized in traditional textile creation, particularly in weaving patterns into fabrics.
    • Floral arrangements often incorporate river anemone for its delicate white flowers, adding a wildflower aesthetic to bouquets and centerpieces.
    • In some cultures, the river anemone is used as a natural decoration during festivals, symbolizing purity and peace.
    • Gardeners may plant river anemones among taller plants, where they can act as a natural mulch, retaining soil moisture and suppressing weeds.
    • River anemone can serve as a food source for a variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.
    • The seeds of river anemone can be used in the arts and crafts sector for making jewelry or as an adornment in decorative items.
    • These plants are sometimes used in educational settings, such as botany classes, to study plant morphology and reproductive cycles.
    • Photographers and artists may feature river anemone due to its strikingly simple yet beautiful flowers, capturing the essence of spring and new beginnings.
    • In some folk traditions, the river anemone is used in seasonal rituals to welcome spring or to adorn altars and sacred spaces.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The River Anemone is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The River Anemone is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Forsaken Love: Anemones are often associated with feelings of abandonment or being left behind because of the Greek myth of Adonis and Aphrodite, where anemone flowers sprung from Aphrodite's tears as she mourned the death of her beloved Adonis.
    • Anticipation: They can also symbolize anticipation, as they are one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, signaling the end of winter and the arrival of new beginnings and hope.
    • Protection Against Evil: Some cultures believe anemones can ward off ill-intentions and bad luck, possibly stemming from the plant's toxic properties that can deter predators.
    • Fragility: The delicate appearance of the flower, often swaying in the wind, represents sensitivity and the ephemeral nature of life, reminding one to cherish each moment.
    • Fading Hope or Trust: In other contexts, anemones can represent a loss of hope or faith, possibly related to the speed at which the flowers fade after being picked.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The River Anemone should be watered regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. During the growing season in spring and summer, water the plant about once a week with approximately 1 gallon of water per session, depending on the soil dryness and the climate. Reduce watering in the fall and water sparingly in winter, just enough to prevent the soil from drying out completely, as overwatering can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    River Anemone prefers dappled shade or part sun conditions. It thrives under the canopy of larger plants or trees where it receives filtered sunlight. Avoid placing it in direct, hot afternoon sun as it can scorch the leaves, but ensure it gets enough light to promote healthy growth, ideally in a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The River Anemone is hardy in a range of temperatures and can survive minimal winter temperatures of around 10 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it prefers a cooler climate with ideal growing temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme heat can be detrimental, and it's important to protect the plant from temperatures consistently above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the River Anemone after flowering by cutting back spent flower stems to maintain a neat appearance and encourage next year's growth. Pruning is generally done annually, in late fall or early spring. Removal of dead or damaged foliage can be done at this time to promote healthy growth and reduce the risk of disease.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    River Anemones thrive in moist, well-draining soil with rich organic matter. The best soil mix consists of two parts garden soil, one part peat or compost, and one part perlite or sand to improve drainage. The preferred soil pH for River Anemones is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    River Anemones typically do not require frequent repotting and can be repotted every 2-3 years, or when the plant has outgrown its current container. It's best to repot in the spring before new growth begins.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    River Anemones prefer moderate humidity levels. They thrive in outdoor environments where the humidity is naturally regulated. If grown indoors, a standard home humidity level between 30-50% is usually adequate.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light with cool air.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in dappled shade, protect from harsh sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Anemone rivularis, commonly known as River Anemone, begins its life cycle as a seed, which typically requires a period of stratification – a cold treatment – to break dormancy and trigger germination. Once germinated in suitable moist and shady conditions, the seedling emerges and develops into a young plant, producing a rosette of leaves close to the ground. As the plant matures, it develops a flowering stem with deeply lobed leaves, and the distinctive white or bluish flowers with a yellow center appear, usually in late spring to early summer. After pollination, which is often facilitated by wind or insects, the River Anemone produces fruits called achenes that are dispersed by wind or water, completing the reproductive phase. Once established, this perennial plant enters a cycle of dormancy during the winter months, retreating to its rootstock underground, only to regrow and bloom again with the return of warm weather. The River Anemone can also propagate vegetatively through its rhizomatous root system, gradually forming clumps and spreading within its habitat.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating Anemone rivularis, commonly known as River Anemone, is through seed sowing. Seeds can be sown in the fall directly into a well-draining soil mix in a cold frame or a sheltered outdoor seedbed. The cold frame helps to maintain a stable environment and protect the seeds from extreme winter cold. Sowing in the fall allows for a natural stratification process during the winter, which helps to break the seed's dormancy. Germination can be erratic, and it may take several weeks or more for seedlings to appear in the spring, after which they can be carefully transplanted to their final growing location.