Pulsatilla vulgaris flowers closeup

Pulsatilla vulgaris       Family: Ranunculaceae
(pull-sah-TIL-lah vul-GARR-iss)
syn. Anemone pulsatilla
Common name: pasque flower; Easter flower; windflower
Zone: 3 – 8
Height: 12-16 in (30-40cm)   Spread: 8-12 in (20-30cm)
Aspect: full sun; partial shade
Soil: moist; fertile; well-draining
Water: regular

Description: An herbaceous perennial with an upright, clump-forming habit. Entire plant is covered in silver-coloured, silky hairs. Mass of soft, feathery, light green-grey leaves are fern-like. Purple, cup-shaped, upward-facing flowers have brilliant yellow stamens with deep purple pistils in their centre. Blooms appear in mid- through late spring. Feathery seed heads follow.


Special Notes: Native to Eurasia and North America, pulsatillas have been a garden favourite since the early 16th Century. Requires good drainage. Reliably flowers about the middle of April, hence the common name “Easter flower”. Propagate by seed; root divisions in spring or autumn.


Caution: All parts of the plant are toxic. Sap can cause skin irritation for some people. Avoid contact in eyes.

RHS Award of Garden Merit 1993

Pulsatilla vulgaris flower bud
In our Zone 7a garden: I am very fond of this plant. It is a reliably early bloomer for us in relation to many of our other perennials. The vibrant colours and all that fuzz are nothing short of spectacular…right when you are looking for something happy in the garden after a cold, grey winter. My fondness may also have something to do with the fact it is always blooming around my birthday. A special garden bouquet gift to me every year.



Posted on February 1, 2013