Pasque Flower (sometimes pasqueflower) is a genus of flowering plants native to the meadows, foothills and prairies of North America, Europe and Asia. It is a member of the buttercup family. The pasque flower can be identified by its showy, bell-shaped flowers and attractive seed heads. The leaves are grey-green. Fine hairs cover the entire plant, including the flowers, stems, leaves and buds. The flowers have 5-7 petal-like sepals. Flowers are available in a rainbow of colours including, blue, pink, red, yellow, white and purple. These low growing flowers grow to be 1 to 4 inches (2.5-10 cm) wide. The flowers will bloom before the leaves appear. The plant blooms around late March to early April. It is one of the first signs of spring, particularly in cold climates, like Canada. The bloom will last about 2 weeks, after which the leaves expand and the flowering stalk will lengthen. The fluffy seed heads look like the dandelion seed heads and will easily disperse in the wind. Pasque flowers are a favourite in rock gardens and in garden beds. Plant this perennial in full sun to part shade and in a well-drained, sandy soil. Climate zones: 4-8
Fun Flower Facts about the Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla):
- Other common names include: wind flower, prairie crocus, prairie smoke (referring to the seed heads blowing in the wind)
- The flower blooms in early spring, around Easter time. The name “Pasque” means Easter in French.
- The flowers will open up in sunshine and closes in the evening or in cloudy weather.
- The hairs on the plant helps deter insects and grazing animals
- The prairie crocus is the provincial flower of Manitoba, Canada
- It is the state flower of South Dakota, US
- The plant is poisonous, containing toxins that can slow the heart
- Blackfoot Indians used the plant to induce abortions
- Early Europeans used the blue sepals to dye Easter eggs