Ann. Lyceum Nat. Hist. New York 3: 221. 1835.
Aerial shoots (20-)30-70(-80) cm, from caudices, rarely with very short ascending rhizomes, caudices ascending to vertical. Basal leaves (2-)5-10(-13), ternate; petiole 9-21 cm; terminal leaflet sessile, broadly rhombic to oblanceolate, (2.5-)3-5(-6) × (3-)4-10(-14) cm, base narrowly cuneate, margins crenate, or serrate and deeply incised on distal 1/2, apex narrowly acute, surfaces strigose, more so abaxially; lateral leaflets 1-2×-parted and -lobed; ultimate lobes 4-10(-13) mm wide. Inflorescences (1-)2-8-flowered cymes, sometimes appearing umbellike; peduncle villous to densely villous; involucral bracts 3-7(-9), 2(-3)-tiered (can appear 1-tiered), ternate, ±similar to basal leaves, bases distinct; terminal leaflet sessile, rhombic to oblanceolate, 2.5-6.5 × (1-)1.5-2(-2.5) cm, bases narrowly cuneate, margins serrate and incised on distal 1/3-1/2, apex narrowly acute, surfaces puberulous, more so abaxially; lateral leaflets 1(-2)×-parted or -lobed; ultimate lobes (4-)6-10(-15) mm wide. Flowers: pedicel usually appearing bractless; sepals 4-5(-6), green to whitish, oblong to elliptic or ovate, 5-12(-15) × 3-6 mm, abaxially silky, adaxially glabrous; stamens 50-75. Heads of achenes cylindric; pedicel 10-30 cm. Achenes: body ovoid, (1.8-)2-3 × 1.5-2 mm, not winged, woolly; beak usually recurved, (0.3-)0.5-1 mm, hidden by achene indument, glabrous. 2n=16.
Phenology: Flowering summer (Jun–Jul).
Habitat: Prairies, dry, open woods, pastures, roadsides
Elevation: 300-3000 m
Alta., B.C., Man., Ont., Que., Sask., Ariz., Colo., Conn., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.Dak., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.Dak., Vt., Wis., Wyo.
The cymes of Anemone cylindrica may appear 1-tiered because the second tier of involucres is closely nestled among the leaves of the first tier. The cymes then resemble umbels with unusually leafy involucral bracts; they might be misinterpreted as such.
Anemone cylindrica was used medicinally by Native Americans for headaches, sore eyes, and bad burns, as a psychological aid, and as a relief for tuberculosis (D. E. Moerman 1986).