Friday, April 23, 2010

pasque flower: botanical identification

I hike quite frequently, so I will start a botanicals feature today to learn more and to share with you what I find. I saw this gorgeous furry blossom a week or so ago, a Pasque Flower.

From Wikipedia, "the Pasque Flower is a deciduous perennial that is found in short clumps in meadows and prairies of North America and Eurasia. The genus Pulsatilla includes about 30 species, many of which are valued for their finely-dissected leaves, solitary bell-shaped flowers, and plumed seed heads. The anthers are bright yellow and the purple bell consists of sepals.
In its tallgrass prairie habitat, it is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring, often before the late winter snows have thawed.

This genus is sometimes included as part of genus Anemone as subgenus Pulsatilla, and is also commonly known as the prairie crocus, wind flower, Easter Flower and meadow anemone. It also grows in limestone pastures in central and northern Europe and parts of Russia. It is found rarely and locally in southern England from where the Pasque / Parsk / Pask family takes its name.
Different varieties of the Pasque flower are the floral emblems of various territories. Pulsatilla vulgaris is the county flower for both Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Pulsatilla hirsutissima is the state flower of South Dakota and the provincial flower of Manitoba.
Pasque refers to Easter (Passover) as the flower blooms around that time of year. "

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