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Anemone pulsatilla - Pasqueflower

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Ranunculales - Family: Ranunculaceae

Anemone pulsatilla, Pasqueflower

In older wildflower guides the Pasqueflower is sometimes referred to by its synonym Pulsatilla vulgaris.

Description

The soft downy leaves and finely hairy stems and purple, petal-like sepals make this striking anemone difficult to confuse with any other wildflower. The plants grow to between 10 and 30cm in height, depending mainly on the level of wind exposure, and the purple bell-like flowers sometimes open up almost flat, like daisies; they are typically 3 to 6cm across and have dense fine hairs on the outside of the sepals.

Hairy outside of flower sepals of Amenone pulsatilla

Another distinguishing feature of this lime-loving plant is the hairy seedheads that persists for many months after the flowering period is finished.

Seedheads of Pasqueflower

Anemone pulsatilla is a member of the Buttercup family, Ranunculaceae.

Anemone pulsatilla in France

Distribution

Anemone pulsatilla has a restricted range, being a rare find in parts of central and eastern England. Pasqueflower also occurs as a native wildflower in parts of, Belgium, western and southern France, Germany, Denmark and southern Sweden. The Pasqueflowers pictured on this page were photographed in the Aveyron region of southern France in May.

Anemone pulsatilla, top view of flowers

Habitat

Anemone pulsatilla is more selective about its habitat than many other members of the buttercup family. It favours short-cropped grassland over chalk or limestone.

Pasqueflower colony in the Aveyron region of France

Flowering Times

Pasqueflower is a wildflower of springtime; its common English name refers to the flowers appearing around the Easter period - in Britain and central Europe usually in April.

Etymology

Anemone comes from Greek and literally means 'daughter of the wind', although many other explanations have been put forward as the intended meaning of the name Anemone. The specific epithet pulsatilla is a reference to the flowers of this plant pulsating in the wind.


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