Friday, February 5, 2016

Pasque Flowers - Pulsatilla



I like pasque flowers, I always have, but it seems largely ignored here for some reason. Pulsatilla is closely related to Anemone and there are about 33 species in the genus. They typically like well-drained (but not necessarily dry) soils in partial to full sun and they are primarily spring bloomers. Flowers come in a range of colors including white, yellow, pink, red, lavender, purple, blue, and near black. Foliage of most species is finely cut and ferny. Flower buds and foliage both emerge with silky hairs in spring. Seed heads are very silky and ornamental in their own right. Plants are usually small, growing under 12" tall and only 15" or so wide.

Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Papageno'


Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Papageno'


Most commonly used here in the US is Pulsatilla vulgaris which has many color forms and is quite easy to grow in average soils. I currently grow 'Papageno' which is a double flowered form that comes in mixed colors, my specimen happens to be purple. I used to also have an nice single red form, 'Rote Glocke'.

Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Papageno'


Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Papageno'


Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Papageno'


Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Rote Glocke'


Probably the second most common species here is Pulsatilla patens (still often sold as Anemone patens) which is native to the US. I typically encounter this as a white form in the trade around here, but it is often lavender and can be found in pink or even yellow forms.

A friend from Europe was kind enough to send me seeds of Pulsatilla alpina var. apiifolia and various Pulsatilla albana forms in 2013. The P. alpina did not do very well, despite having a large amount of seed which germinated well; I believe the seedlings remained too wet. I have one very small specimen in the garden yet, if it survives this winter. The P. albana forms all germinated in 2014 and bloomed in 2015. Pictures don't capture the colors well, some are much more yellow, I will shoot more pics this year in hopes of better color.

Pulsatilla albana


Pulsatilla albana


Pulsatilla albana


Pulsatilla albana


Pulsatilla albana


If you come across Pulsatilla in the garden center, don't pass it up. Even if it's not blooming, young plants grow well and are great in early spring planted in masses. They are fairly small plants that don't take up much room, so plant a bunch of them.

1 comment:

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