GARDEN KNOW HOW

Pulsatilla (Pasque Flower)

Bee in Pulsatilla at Sensible Gardening and Living

One of my favorite spring flowers is the pasque flower, sometimes called Prairie Crocus by northern gardeners. I love everything about this plant, the open faced blooms, soft fuzzy fern-like foliage and silky seed heads.

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Pulsatilla / Sensible Gardening and Living
Pulsatilla / Sensible Gardening and Living

Pulsatilla is easy to grow in average soil with good drainage, it even grows in my sandy soil. It is drought tolerant and best of all deer resistant because of all the soft fuzzy parts. Pasqueflower enjoys sun to partial shade and at only about 8 to 12 inches tall it works well in rock gardens and border edgings. The blooms will last about a week as a cut flower and the fluffy seed heads are gorgeous. To bring indoors spray the seed heads with a bit of hairspray first.

This is a hardy perennial with colors ranging from purple to lavender blues, maroon and white. More and more varieties are becoming available although the most common cultivar found in the nurseries is pulatilla vulgaris.

This plant resents root disturbance but can be divided every 3 to 5 years as needed. It will self seed seed itself, however seedlings are easily pulled out. I have never seen this as a problem as I enjoy it poking up here and there. If you have slugs or snails, watch they don’t go after the new growth.

PROS:

Easy to grow / long blooming / decorative seed heads / drought tolerant / deer resistant

CONS:

self seeds/ susceptible to slugs and snails

 

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