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The distinctive, thimble-shaped group of pistils accounts for the common name. Long-headed Thimbleweed (A. cylindrica) has narrower leaf segments and fruit in a long, cylindrical cone 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) long; it is found from Alberta east to Quebec and south to New Jersey and Kansas.Thimbleweed is easily confused with Tall Thimbleweed (Anenome virginiana). The best way I've found to tell them apart is by the shape of the leaves. Thimbleweed leaflets are wedge-shaped at the base with the lobes fanning out. The outer lobes of Tall Thimbleweed leaflets are rounded with teeth along the tip half. Thimbleweed also rarely grows taller than 2 feet, with a cone up to 1½ inches long, where Tall Thimbleweed can reach nearly 4 feet and its cones are usually under 1 inch long.
Tall thimbleweed has long-lasting, off-white flowers, and as with the other anemones, what appear to be petals are actually colored sepals. The thimble-like seed heads are ornamental, becoming fluffy when they disperse their seed. This makes them fun multi-season plants of interest. Tall thimbleweed prefers open woods and clearings.Tall Thimbleweed is similar to its cousin Anemone cylindrica, but the fruiting cluster or "thimble" of virginiana is shorter than that of cylindrica. Both have lobed leaves, but the leaves of the cylindrica are wedge shaped while those of virginiana are rounded with fine teeth. Also called Tall or Virginia Anemone.The preference is full to partial sun, and mesic to dry conditions in a rather sandy or gritty soil. In rich fertile soil, this plant has trouble competing with taller, more aggressive plants.
Thimbleweed is often temperamental about being transplanted and difficult to start from seed; transplantation should occur during the spring after danger of hard frost has passed. Established plants, however, are reliable and easy to deal with. Foliar disease is rarely a problem.A brand new adventure game from Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, creators of the classics Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion! Play as five characters to uncover the surreal mystery of Thimbleweed Park -- a town where a dead body is the least of your problems.Perennial herb with a erect, unbranched stalk. Flowers about 1 inch across, usually 1–3, with 5 off-white or greenish-white sepals (there are no petals). Fruits are densely clustered at the center in a thimble-shaped dome, thus the name “thimbleweed.” Blooms April–August. Leaves 3-divided with deeply cleft and large-toothed leaflets, the basal leaves and the stem leaves on petioles, the basal on very long stems. Fruits when mature are a fluffy, white mass of seeds that often remains on the stalk through the winter. (Source: mdc.mo.gov)