“The chance to find a pasque flower is a right as inalienable as free speech.” — Aldo Leopold
One of the first signs of spring, but far too rare both in the wild and in planted landscapes, is pasque flower.
The beautiful flowers, in shades of blue to violet, sometimes open when snow is still on the ground. They are followed by plume-like seedheads similar to clematis. The soft, hairy foliage and seedheads remain into summer. It grows 5 to 12 inches high and prefers well-drained soil and sun.
The common name pasque flower refers to its Easter bloom time. It’s also referred to as prairie crocus or windflower and the botanical name is Anemone patens (previously Pulsatilla patens).
It’s wonderful combined with other prairie plants like Fremont’s clematis, Tharp’s spiderwort, prairie smoke, Bebb’s sedge and little bluestem.
This native plant recommendation is from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, plantnebraska.org.