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Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

Also called the Easter Flower, Passover Flower, Wind Flower, Prairie Crocus, or Meadow Anemone, the Pasque Flower has a long and rich history. It's name alone is derived from the ancient Hebrew word "pasakh", meaning Passover.

It is a highly toxic flower and should be treated carefully. It has the potential if misused to lead to a slowed heart rate, diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions, hypotension or even coma. As with almost all poisonous plants, this is a sign of its power as a healing agent. The Native Americans used it for treating reproductive problems, inducing labor, but also abortion. It is often used as an initial ingredient in homeopathic remedies, including being used as a sedative and treating coughs.

This all being said, if you are not trying to play doctor, you can use Pasque flowers as a wonderful ornamental in your garden. Since they are one of the earliest flowers to bloom in spring, they are surely a joy to see as well. They have a soft herbaceous texture, and the flowers are shaped like bells. They also have plumed seed heads, making all of their stages an interest in the garden.

We have found them growing wild at our homestead at 9000'. This ensures to me that they are capable at high altitudes, hardy, and not picky on soil type. Pasque flowers should definitely be sowed in the fall for a spring bloom in any garden.

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