PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

Growing up in western South Dakota, we remember the start of spring signaled by the rolling prairie hills suddenly sprinkled with this beauty for only a couple of weeks. Then the Pasque Flower gave way to Shooting Stars, Yarrow, blooming grasses, and the song of Meadowlarks. Derived from the Hebrew word for Passover, “pasakh” because of its flowering time.

Pulsatilla grows about a foot tall and slowly spreads into an expanding clump of itself. Varying shades of rich purple, 2 inch, bell-shaped blooms with a yellow puff of stamens in the center are held just slightly upward as if they are tilting their heads back to try & see over the neighboring prairie grasses, hoping to catch the attention of local bumblebees.

They do well in a sunny spot and don’t need much water. When the flower goes to seed, it’s almost as beautiful as the bloom – a wispy, feathery, satellite-shaped floof that looks like Dr. Seuss dreamed it up. The seed head sticks around for many weeks, then the low mound of delicately textured foliage holds space till late autumn.