ssp. gotlandica

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Pasque Flower

Pulsatilla vulgaris

  • Latin synonym: Anemone pulsatilla
  • Name also: Wind Flower, Meadow Anemone, Passe Flower, Easter Flower, Common Pasque-flower, Dane’s Blood
  • Family: Buttercup Family – Ranunculaceae
  • Growing form: Perennial herb. Rootstock short, vertical. Mildly tufted.
  • Height: 5–25 cm (2–10 in.). Stem unbranched, hollow, hairy, leafless apart from whorl under flower, extends after flowering.
  • Flower: Perianth regular (actinomorphic), bell-shaped, purple, 5.5–8.5 cm (2.2–3.4 in.) across. Tepals 6 in two whorls, all almost the same size, outer surface shiny white-hairy. Stamens many, anthers yellow. Gynoecium separate, several pistils. Flower solitary, terminating scape, erect.
  • Leaves: Basal leaves stalked, stalks hairy, developing after flowering. Blade 2–4 times pinnately lobed. Lobes narrowly linear–long, up to over 100 lobes on leaf. Upper leaves a whorl under flower, stalkless, united at base, narrow, tip sparsely lobed, straight, white-hairy.
  • Fruit: Greyish brown, approx. 3 mm (0.12 in.) long achene with 2–5 cm (0.8–2 in.) long, hairy point. Achenes several together.
  • Habitat: Dry moors. Also ornamental.
  • Flowering time: April–May.

Pasque flower has become extinct in Finland but is grown in gardens as an ornamental.

Two native species of pasque flowers grow in Finland, eastern pasque flower (P. patens) and spring pasque flower (P. vernalis), both of which have become rare and are now protected. Large amounts of these flowers were formerly collected in the spring to be sold and whole plants were taken to decorate gardens. Small pasque flower (P. pratensis) is a new arrival that also grows in Finland. Finland’s fourth pasque flower species, pasque flower, which most likely arrived with people in ancient times, has disappeared. Its last known habitat was Kasvilannummi near Salo in southern Finland, where it could still be found in the 1930s. There have been occasional rumours of it reappearing somewhere soon in Finland, but the closest current definite habitats are on the western side of the Gulf of Finland on mainland Sweden and on the island of Gotland. A large-flowered species is still grown in gardens as an ornamental. It is undemanding with regards to soil quality and doesn’t need much care, unlike the species that survive in the wild: it is very difficult to create the right conditions for it in the garden. In the springtime pasque flower pushes its hairy buds through immediately after the snow has melted, and in only a few days its large blue-violet flowers burst out. After flowering pasque flower is decorated with long, downy, decorative fruits. The achenes spread with the wind and glide to suitable habitats, even growing once more in Finland in southern hill slopes and gravelly ridges.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family
Trees and bushes from the same family

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