Pulsatilla patens
Common Name: eastern pasqueflower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Ranunculaceae
Native Range: Europe, Siberia
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 0.25 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Blue-violet
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Best grown in gritty, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Good soil drainage is essential. Best performance occurs in cool climates. Somewhat difficult to grow from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pulsatilla patens, commonly called Pasque flower, is an early spring wildflower that features silky, hairy, fern-like foliage and erect, open bell-shaped, solitary, blue-violet (but occasionally yellow or white) flowers. Leafless, hairy flower stems emerge from the ground in spring (March-April in St. Louis), sometimes when patches of snow are still on the ground. Flowers bloom as the foliage begins to form. When the flowers appear, stems are typically only 4-5” tall. Stems elongate and foliage grows taller after bloom, with plants typically maturing to 8-12” tall. Deeply divided basal foliage is silvery-hairy. Flowers are followed by plume-like seedheads (reminiscent of some clematis and geum) that have good ornamental interest. This species and varieties thereof are native to prairies, sub-alpine meadows and dry rocky areas in northern Europe, Siberia and North America (Alaska south to Washington, New Mexico, Texas and Illinois). This is the one of the first spring flowers to bloom on the northern Great Plains and far northern tundra areas. Synonymous with Anemone patens.

Genus name comes from Latin meaning sway as the flowers sway in the wind.

Specific epithet means spreading.

Pasque comes from Old French for Easter in reference to the spring bloom time. Other descriptive regional common names applied to this species include prairie smoke, windflower, gosling flower, anemone, sandflower and prairie crocus. It is the state flower of South Dakota.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Rock gardens. Prairie areas. Border fronts.