Category: Plants Other
Facts of Pasque Flower (Plant), "Scientific name for Pasque Flower Pulsatilla vulgaris". The Pasque flower is a member of the buttercup family, the Ranunculaceae family.
It is one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, often as soon as the snow melts. Pasque Flower is a perennial flower native to Europe that has spread with settlers around the world.
All in a Name
The name Pasque may come from the Hebrew term Paschal, meaning “related to Passover”. Pasque is also an Old French spelling of Easter. The Pasque flower is sometimes called the Easter flower, which may be where the name “Pasque flower” came from.
The Plusatilla genus contains 33 species. Nearly all members of the genus are called Easter flowers, the prairie crocus, the wind flower and the Pasque Flower. The pulsatilla genus is sometimes classified under the anemone genus, this is why Pasque Flowers are also called the meadow anemone. The term pulsatilla means to sway in Latin. The term vulgaris means common. So the scientific species name means the common flower that sways in the name. The Ranunculaceae family name means “little frog”, where you find Pasque Flowers, you often find frogs.
Pulsatilla vulgaris is native to England and continental Europe all the way to the Ukraine. It is naturalized to North America.
Pasque Flower Appearance
It grows up to one foot tall and in groupings up to a foot across. It has delicate lavender flowers and the Pasque Flowers are sometimes dark violet, with occasional white mutants and some cultivars bred to take on other colors. The basal leaves are light green and resemble fern leaves.
The Pasque Flowers bloom from April until May. The Pasque Flowers appear on stems up to five inches (12.7 cm) tall. The stems then continue to elongate and the leaves grow farther. The fertilized Pasque Flowers turn into plume-like seed heads with fluffy round clumps.
Pasque Flower Habitat
The Pasque Flower grows in climate zones 4 through 8. The plant prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
They prefer well drained soil and the Pasque Flowers can grow in humusy soil. The Pasque Flower grows best in alkaline soil with pH of 7 to 8. The Pasque Flower grows well in cool, moist climates.
The Pasque Flower can handle occasional grazing by rabbits.
Uses of the Pasque Flower
The Pasque flower used to be used to dye Easter eggs. This has gone away with the introduction of more reliable and affordable industrial dyes. The Pasque Flower are often used in rock gardens or as garden borders today. Pulsatilla vulgaris can be used in xeriscapes as long as it is established; young plants need more water.
The plant was originally used as a sedative according to "Henriette’s Herbal", but Drugs.com says it is a poisonous plant.
A Popular Symbol
The Pasque flower, species name P. hirsutissima, is the state flower of South Dakota. The species Pulsatilla patens is the flower of Manitoba, Canada. Plusatilla vernalis-Pasque Flower is the flower of Oppland, Norway. Pulsatilla vulgaris-Pasque Flower is a flower of two separate counties in England.
The South Dakota variety of the Pasque flower is sometimes called the May Day Flower because it appears around May 1st.
You can transplant the dormant, bare roots in October or April, as long as the plant isn’t flowering.