Pulsatilla vulgaris



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Pulsatilla vulgaris


Double bells of purple silk

Beautiful double flowers of deep, rich purple during late winter and early spring, make Pulsatilla vulgaris. Double Purple Pasque Flower, very special  

Silky bells & bad hair days

In late winter they begin to bloom with silky bells on 30cm. stems.
Then these bells open to stars, sitting very jauntily above a neat clump of the prettiest ferny foliage. 
Though for me, the wildly harum-scarum silky seed heads which follow over summer, are just as lovely as the dramatic flowers.

Beautiful but easy

All in all, Pasque Flowers deliver great value.
As well as beautiful, they are also hardy, easy, and so very rewarding in late winter when you are desperate for the first glimpses of spring.
Plant in Sun to ½ Shade.
Where they are tolerant of periods of dry, once settled in, and they are extremely frost hardy.

Growing: Pulsatilla vulgaris – Double Purple Pasque Flower

Height with flowers: 30cm. approx.
Width: A well established clump will make approx. 45cm. diameter.
Position: Full Sun to Part Shade / Dappled Sun / Woodland position. Tolerant of periods of dry once established.
Soil: They love lime, but are generally very tolerant of a wide variety of soils, including those with a pH on the acid side of neutral, as well as on the alkaline lime side. However they positively thrive with a handful of lime, or in naturally lime rich soils. They insist on good drainage and are quite partial to gravel. Plus respond to compost and humus with even more abundant flowering. However if put to it – they are very hardy and easy growing in a wide variety of soils and conditions.

Other benefits

Fragrance: Sadly none, but they are so lovely you cant always have everything.
Frost: Extremely frost hardy, even in hard frosts to well below -10C.
Growth: Perennial clump. They will remain evergreen in milder climates, but are deciduous in areas with very heavy frosts (like us).
Beneficial for wildlife: Pasque Flowers are particularly rich in both nectar and pollen, so they are very welcome early season treats for bees and other insect pollinators.

Easy & rabbit resistant

Care: Pasque Flowers are very easy, low maintenance plants once established. They only require normal, average garden watering, and are actually quite tolerant of dry periods once your clumps have got their grip on the world.
Beware: Should not be ingested. They are not edible, and will actually cause irritation in the mouth when fresh – so there is no incentive to take a bite.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: Fortunately the chemical compound within the plant that causes mouth irritation when eaten, causes the pesky rabbits and deer to steer clear of them.

An ancient herb

Origin: Native to widespread areas of Europe and Asia (hence Pulsatilla’s adaptable, versatile and easy-going nature). Where they grow in light woodland including amongst pines, and out in grassy wild meadows. So they are accustomed to competing amongst other plants.
Traditional Herbal Use: Dried Pulsatilla has a long history as a herbal treatment for many conditions, but particularly for premenstrual difficulties. As there are certainly potential toxic effects it is not normally recommended today.
History: The common name of Pasque Flower (Easter Flower) is translated from French. Of course it does flower at Easter in the northern hemisphere, but is a good six months out in our southern hemisphere.
The botanical name of Pulsatilla comes from the Latin word “pulso”, which means “violent movement”, and this is probably what would happen if you ate too much of it fresh. 


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