Apr. 6, 2022

pasque-flower, Pulsatilla patens

Modern computers and chemistry have enabled us to determine exactly how the members of the genus Anemone relate to each other. It is clear which ones are firmly nested in the middle, and which ones are at the edges. What that analysis does not do is tell us exactly where to place the limits. There are plants that are clearly too far out to be Anemone. Others, including pasquflower, remain at the margin. Should it be Anemone patens or Pulsatilla? The very smart authors of Flora of North America have decided on Anemone. Now we only need the rest of the very smart people to agree with them! Anyway, there's a tale about Blackfoot people who pranked each other by including pasqueflower leaves in the stuff they used for toilet paper. Pasqueflower is quite toxic and can cause contact blisters. Nonetheless, pasqueflower has been used through the ages in medicines to treat a variety of ailments. It's still available, only $5.43 from Swanson. Very smart people recommend we not use it. But imagine, we can't agree on what's good for us either! Pasqueflower makes a very nice addition to a rock garden, or it can be seen wild in AK, CO, IA, ID, IL, KS, MN, MT, ND, NE, NM, SD, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY, AB, BC, MB, NT, ON, SK, and YT; also in Eurasia. Edgewood gardens, Chester Co PA, 4/21/21. Buttercup family, Ranunculaceae.