Pulsatilla vulgaris
Common Name: pasque flower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Ranunculaceae
Native Range: Europe, southwestern Asia
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Pale or dark violet, rarely white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit


Best grown in fertile, humusy, gritty, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Good soil drainage is essential. Best performance occurs in cool climates where plants are also more apt to tolerate drier conditions. Plants need consistent moisture in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Plants are best left undisturbed once established.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pulsatilla vulgaris is a purple-flowered pasque flower that is native to Europe (Great Britain and France to the Ukraine). 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. Flowers are solitary, erect-to-nodding and open-bell-shaped. When the flowers appear, stems are typically only 4-5” tall. Stems elongate and foliage grows taller after bloom, with plants typically maturing to 9-12” tall. Flowers are followed by equally-ornamental, plume-like seedheads (reminiscent of some clematis) in fluffy spherical clusters. Deeply-divided, silky, hairy, fern-like, light green, basal leaves (to 4-6" long) are attractive throughout the growing season.

Pulsatilla vulgaris is synonymous with Anemone pulsatilla.

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

Specific epithet means common.

Pasque comes from Old French for Easter in reference to the spring bloom time.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Border fronts, rock gardens.