Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis) is your go-to for a short, hardy native ground cover. Overcrowded clumps can be divided in the fall to maximize flowering. The spring flowers are whimsical and abundant and the remaining foliage is attractive right into the fall. Canada anemone can be aggressive, so plan its position in your garden carefully. Do not confuse Canada Anemone with other low growing edible plants, as all parts of this plant are toxic.
Note, as many other woodland plants, Canada anemone can be challenging to germinate from seed. This species requires double dormancy, or double cold moist stratification. When planted in the fall, the plant may require 2 seasons to germinate, or if stratification is done indoors, the cycle should be followed twice (see below).
Double wet and cold stratification required. Mix seeds with moist substrate (vermiculite, perlite or moss) and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 6-8 weeks. Remove from refrigerator and store at room temperature for 6-8 weeks. Put seeds back in refrigerator for a second 6-8 week cold moist stratification. Sow seed at 1/8 inch depth. Do not let seedling dry out while it is establishing.
Sow directly outdoors in late fall to overwinter for two seasons.