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Thimbleweed (Cylindrica) – Anemone cylindrical – a perennial plant

Thimbleweed is a perennial plant belonging to Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). It is also known as Tall Anemone, Tall Thimbleweed. This plant can grow up to a height of 1-2 feet. The plant grows singly. The leaves are basal and have petioles and are divided into 3-5 lobes. The margins are dentate. From one whorl, second whorl of leaves emerge which are smaller than the first ones. Each secondary whorl has a white flower which is single and is ¾ inches across and bears five petal-like sepals. A small green cone is present in the centre of the flower. This green cone is surrounded by stamens and yellow anthers. This green cone later develops into a fruit which is elongated and cylindrical. It is like a green cylindrical thimble that is 11/2 inches long and hence the name, thimbleweed. The flowers bloom from June through August at the tip of tall, 8- to 10-inch high stalks and are about an inch in diameter.
The flowers bloom in early to mid-summer and turn to cotton tufts during the fall. The seeds that are embedded in the tufts are wind sprayed. The root system is taproot and can form vegetative offsets. The plant has protoanemonin, which is an allelopathic substance, that causes seed germination. The thimbles turn yellow and to brown with the progress of season. Thimbleweed occurs occasionally in northern Illinois, is scattered and uncommon in central Illinois. These plants attract small bees like Plasterer bees and Halictid bees and Syrphid flies.
Habitats include dry upland areas of black soil prairies, loess hill prairies, scrubby barrens, limestone glades, sandy Black Oak savannas, open sandy woodlands, abandoned fields, and open areas along roadsides. The plant can cause gastrointestinal irritations if ingested.

Growing conditions of Thimbleweed:

• This plant needs full to partial sun to grow.
• The plant prefers sandy to gritty soil.
• The plant can grow in mesic to dry conditions.
• It is a little difficult to grow Thimbleweed from seed.
• Instead consider transplanting.
• Transplant during the spring after hard frost has passed.
• Moist, shaded areas are ideal growing site.

Care for Thimbleweed:

• Foliage disease is rare, but needs to be taken care of.
• This plant needs full to partial sun to grow.
• The plant prefers sandy to gritty soil.
• The plant can grow in mesic to dry conditions.
• Do not overwater.
• The plant can grow anywhere, so avoid spreading.
• Also see that it is not ingested as it is toxic and can cause stomach irritations.
• Avoid water puddles and water clogging.
• Add Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work to improve the drainage.

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