Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Shades of Pasque Flowers

While today is dark and stormy (okay, so it's a downright snowstorm), I am reflecting on yesterday's pictures of the lovely pulsatillas. It's Latin name is Pulsatilla vulgaris, also called Anemone pulsatilla, Pasque flower, or prairie crocus (although they're NOT crocuses). The purple ones grow wild in Saskatchewan. Their delicate finely cut foliage, fuzzy flower buds, rich flower colors, and feathery seed heads are all beautiful. I grow mine on a bank in full sun in rather poor soil. They would probably be bigger if the soil was more rich. Pulsatilla are quite drought tolerant when established. I have three different colors of these flowers, most of which I grew from seed:

Red Pulsatilla vulgaris

Dark Purple Pulsatilla vulgaris

Light purple Pulsatilla vulgaris

Of course, my collection is missing the white one and maybe there are others I don't know about. I really want to propagate more of the red one so that I wil have nice big clumps of it blooming in the spring. They are showy and quite visible from a distance. Their seed is "ephemeral" as the seed companies call it, expiring not long after ripe, so I'll plant the fresh seeds as soon as possible. Maybe I'll have a bunch of plants for fall planting. They may require cold stratification to germinate, so maybe we'll have seeds planted in the fridge again.

I've only ever purchased these seeds from Gardens North, a seed company with lots of native plant seeds. I get all tingly and starry-eyed just looking at their online catalogs...and I see they're having a 50% off sale all this month. No, they don't pay me to advertise, I just order their stuff frequently! I notice they don't have any pulsatilla at the moment though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your article. I live in Rochester NY. I spent an hour today at one of our local garden stores trying to find the name of this flower. I have the purple one. It is now in bloom ian it is beautiful. After doing some research online, I discovered that there are other colors so I am tempted to order some from High Check it out.