Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pasque Flower

Pulsatilla
A genus of perennials that are part of the larger Ranunculaceae ( Buttercup ) family.
Most species have both the ferny leaves and stems covered in soft hairs. They bloom in the spring. The plant is poisonous to ingest so no part should ever be eaten.
They all require fertile, very well drained soil and do not like root disturbance.
Pasque Flower does not like waterlogged soil! They can be used in planters but only if they are brought indoors to a heated porch or garage during winter to prevent freeze/thaw damage.
It is important to plant them out when very young and do not divide established clumps. It is rarely bothered by insect pests or disease.
Propagation is from seed which should be sown immediately upon ripening from mid summer to early fall. It may take up to 2 years to germinate. Pasque Flower can also be propagated from root cuttings taken during early spring.

* photo of unknown internet source

* historic archive photo


Pulsatilla alpina ( Alpine Pasque Flower )
A clumping perennial, reaching a maximum size of 20 inches x 2 feet ( usually half that ), that is native to mountain meadows from central Europe to the Caucasus.
The ferny foliage is covered is deep green.
The white flowers, up to 3 inches across, are borne during early spring.
They are followed by attractive fluffy seed heads.
Hardy zones 2 to 7 in full sun on deep, sandy, alkaline, well drained soil.

var sulfurea
The flowers are yellow and appear later; otherwise similar.

Pulsatilla halleri
A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 10 inches x 1 foot, that is native to mountain meadows of central Europe. It is similar to Pulsatilla vulgaris.
The flowers range from lavender-blue to violet.

Pulsatilla occidentalis ( Western Pasque-Flower )
Similar to Pulsatilla alpina but reaches a maximum size of 2.5 feet x 15 inches and is native to moist subalpine meadows in western North America ( from Kitsault, British Columbia to Takla Landing, B.C. to Arcadia Valley, Alberta; south to central California to western Montana ).
The white or pink flowers, up to 2 inches across, are borne during summer.
Hardy zones 2 to 6.

* historical archive photos


Pulsatilla patens ( Prairie Pasque Flower )
A long-lived ( to 50 + years ) perennial, reaching up to 2 x 1 ( rarely over 1 ) feet, that is native to prairies and dry open woods in western North America ( from far northwest Alaska to far northern Yukon to far northwestern Northwest Territories to far northeast Alberta to central Manitoba to Kenora, Ontario; south to Washington State to Colorado to northern Illinois to Michigan ). It is also native from northern Europe to Siberia; south to Kazakhstan to northern Xinjiang to Inner Mongolia & northeast China.
The heavy-textured, lightly hairy leaves, up to 3 x 4.5 inches in size, are less finely divided than other species.
The abundant, white to deep lavender flowers, up to 2.5 inches across, are borne during early to late spring. Older plants can produce up to 40 flowers.
They are followed by attractive airy seed heads.
Hardy zones 1 to 7 in full sun to partial shade on sandy, alkaline, well drained soil. It is very drought tolerant.

* historical archive photo


Pulsatilla turczaninovii
A perennial, reaching up to 10 inches in height, that is native to grasslands from Siberia to far eastern Russia; south to northern Xinjiang to northeastern China ).
The narrowly-elliptical, 3 pinnately-divided leaves are up to 3.5 x 1.6 inches in size.
The very abundant ( up to 50 per plant ), deep purplish-blue flowers appear late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 2 to 6.

Pulsatilla vernalis ( Pasque Flower )
A perennial, reaching up to 1 x 1 foot, that is native from northern Europe to Siberia.
The ferny foliage is silvery and covered in silky down.
The ourplish ( rarely white ) flowers, up to 2.3 inches across, are borne during early spring.
They are followed by attractive airy seed heads.
Hardy zones 2 to 7 in full sun on sandy, alkaline, very well drained soil.
It does not enjoy winter wetness.

Pulsatilla vulgaris ( Pasque Flower )
Was historically incorrectly called Anemone pulsatilla. A clumping perennial, reaching up to 2 x 2 feet, that is native from the British Isles to the Ukraine. It is great for both the landscape border and the rock garden.
The very finely-divided, ferny leaves, up to 12 inches in length, are covered in silky down. The foliage is silvery in color and remains attractive well into autumn.
The large, bell-shaped flowers, up to 3.5 inches across, are borne over a long season lasting early to mid spring.
They are typically violet-purple though sometimes white, pink or red.
They are followed by attractive silky seed heads.
Hardy zones 2 to 7 in full sun ( or less ideally partial shade ) on sandy, alkaline, very well drained soil.
Moderately drought tolerant.

* photo of unknown internet source


'Alba'
Pure white flowers, otherwise identical.

'Rosea'
Pink flowers, otherwise identical.

'Rubra'
Bright purplish-red flowers, otherwise identical.

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