Common Name: Pasqueflower
Height: 8-12 Inches (20-30 cm)
Spread: 10-15 Inches (25-35 cm)
Exposure: Full Sun to Dappled or Light Shade.
Soil: Moist, Well Drained. Add Sand to Compost to Avoid Crown Rot.
Hardiness: Zone 4-8
Bloom Colour: Purple, Pink, Crimson or White
Foliage Colour: Dark Green
Bloom Time: Early Spring
Named after Easter; which is when this gorgeous plant blooms; the Pasque flower is one of the earliest
perennial bloomers in the garden. It blooms so early, that it has tiny fuzzy white hairs all over the stems
to keep it warm. Well, that is how I liked to think of it when I was learning about this plant in school.
This is why it is difficult to see them in bloom on the garden center shelves. Greenhouse plants have
their dormancy broken well before the snow melts and nurseries are open. Pulsatilla sends up its
blooms first and then the foliage. By the time you hit the shops, all you will see is pots of beautiful lacy,
dark green foliage...and no flowers left. This is a problem because people like to see the actual blooms
of the plant they are buying and are usually passed by for flashier specimens.
Anyone fortunate enough to already have this Easter splendor can tell you that it is a lot of bang for
your buck. Not only does the Pulsatilla help you to leave winter behind and greet the warmer climate,
but it will bloom for almost an entire month! Deadheading can prolong the bloom time but most allow
the seed heads to remain because of their fuzzy, white unique mop-head. A lot of us deadhead only to
be able to bring in the crazy heads and add them to indoor dry arrangements. The fern-like lacy foliage
continues to add contrasted interest in the garden for the remainder of the season. Now that's value.
The only thing that should be mentioned about this plant is to not move it once the plant has settles into
an area. Moving can set this plant back for some time. If you must move or split it, wait until the spring.
Cool soil and loose ground will help the success of this transplant. Other than that, it is getting your
cake and eating it too!
Other varieties to try are:
P. vulgaris alba which provides a white bloom, or
the P. vulgaris “Rubra” which is great to add a little crimson-red spice to your other spring