Pulsatilla vulgaris subsp. grandis ‘Papageno’
PAPAGENO DOUBLE PASQUES –
Frilly double bells
Pulsatilla vulgaris subsp. grandis ‘Papageno’ (Phew what a mouthful!) are a bouncy parade of double and semi-double bells.
And to add to the fun, they are a charming mix of cherry, pink and wine coloured flowers.
Though you don’t know until they open exactly which shade you have.
But you will be delighted to know that the word “grandis” in their name means “big”
So ‘Papageno’ Pasque Flowers are delightful surprise packets of satin silky petals during late winter and early spring. Just when you need them most after the gloom of winter.
Silky bad hair days of summer
In late winter silky bells swell from hairy buds on 25cm. stems.
Then they open to stars during spring, beaming at you royally above a neat clump of the prettiest feathery foliage.
Though for me, the wildly harum-scarum silky seed heads which follow over summer, are just as lovely as the dramatic flowers.
These gleaming seed balls of summer silk make lovely additions to a vase of cut flowers.
So Pasque Flowers deliver great value for a very long time, with their combination of buds, flowers, wonderful seed heads and lacy foliage.
(Please see ‘Growing’ section below for all cultural details).
Beautiful but easy to grow
As well as being beautiful, Pulsatillas are hardy, easy, and so very rewarding
Plant in Sun to ½ Shade and Dappled Sun, where they are tolerant of periods of dry, once settled in.
Being extremely frost hardy adds to their value.
– Height with flowers: 25cm. 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 they respond to compost and humus with even more abundant flowering. However if put to it – they are very forgiving and easy growing in a wide variety of soils and conditions.
– 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.
– Beware: Should not be ingested. They are not edible, and will actually cause irritation in the mouth when leaves are fresh – so there is no incentive to take a bite.
– 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.
– 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.
– Origin: Pulsatillas are 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 it has been particularly popular for treating premenstrual difficulties. It is not normally a recommended treatment today.because of possible toxic effects.
– History:The common name Pasque Flower (meaning Easter Flower) comes 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 Pulsatilla is thought to come from the Latin word “pulso”, which means “violent movement”, and this is probably what would happen if you ate too much fresh Pulsatilla.
However a more romantic theory is that Pulsatilla comes from the Latin word “pulsare” meaning to quiver, which is exactly what these beautiful flowers do so attractively in the late winter and spring breezes.