Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

Pasque Flower is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in a prairie. The common name refers to the religious holiday of Easter, when the flowers are often in bloom. A scientific synonym of this species is Pulsatilla patens, and another common name is Prairie Crocus. Pasque Flower is easy to identify because of its large early-blooming flowers, narrowly lobed leaves, and abundant silky hairs on the foliage and outer surfaces of the sepals. These abundant hairs probably protect the Pasque Flower from spring frosts and various herbivores. The flowers of this plant are larger in size than other anemone species (Anemone spp.) in Illinois. Like many clematis vines (Clematis spp.), it is somewhat unusual in having persistent plumose styles on its achenes.
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Description

This perennial plant is about ½' tall when it blooms, but it later becomes ¾–1¼' tall. It consists of several basal leaves and one or more flowering stalks that develop at about the same time during the spring. The basal leaves are 1-3" long and similarly across; they are palmately divided into dichotomously branched linear lobes. These lobes are 1-3 mm. across; a few coarse teeth may occur along their margins. The basal leaves are medium green and hairless to sparsely hairy above, while below they are densely covered with long silky hairs. The petioles of basal leaves are 1-4" long and densely hairy. Each flowering stalk is light to medium green, terete, relatively stout, and densely hairy. Near the middle of its length, there is a whorl of 3 leafy bracts that are sessile or nearly so. These leafy bracts are about 1-2" long and similarly across; they are similar in appearance to the basal leaves. Each stalk terminates in a single flower that becomes more or less erect when it is fully open. Each flower is 2-3" across, consisting of 5-8 petaloid sepals, a ring of numerous yellow stamens, and a compound pistil with numerous styles. There are no true petals. The sepals are pale purple to purple, hairy along their outer surfaces, and ovate-oblong in shape. The slender styles form a narrowly ovoid to globoid cluster in the center of the flower; they are yellow or purple. The blooming period occurs from early to mid-spring, lasting about 2 weeks for a colony of plants. Individual flowers are short-lived; they usually bloom during spring days that are sunny and warm. After shedding their sepals, the styles of the flowers become elongated and plumose (feathery); mature styles are ¾–1½" long. At the base of each mature style, there is a flattened achene about 3-4 mm. in length. Because of their plumose styles, these achenes can be blown about by the wind. The root system consists of a woody taproot that can become swollen into a caudex on older plants. This plant spreads by reseeding itself.
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Heilongjiang, N Nei Mongol, N Xinjiang [Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia; N Europe, North America].
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Varieties ca. 4 (1 in the flora): North America, Eurasia.
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Description

Plants to 40 cm tall. Rhizome cylindric, branched distally. Leaves 5, not fully expanded at anthesis; petiole 5.5--15 cm, with thick long pilose hairs; leaf blade nearly kidney-shaped, rounded-ovate, or 5-angled, 2.5--7 × 4.5--11 cm, ± equally 3-foliolate, abaxially with white hairs, adaxially glabrous, base broadly cordate; lateral leaflets subsessile, unevenly 2-lobed; central leaflet subsessile or with a 1--4 mm petiolule, deeply 3-lobed, lobes entire or dissected, ultimate lobes triangular to narrowly linear and 2--3.5 mm wide. Scapes erect, elongated in fruit, with hairs; involucral bracts 3.5--4.5 cm, basally connate into a 0.8--1.2 mm tube, apical palmate lobes linear, abaxially thickly puberulent. Sepals lilac to blue-violet, rarely milk-white to yellowish (subsp. flavescens), erect, oblong-ovate, ca. 3 × 1 cm, inside glabrous, outside sparsely hairy. Anthers yellow. Infructescences ca. 5 cm in diam. Achenes ca. 5 mm, thickly puberulent. Persistent styles 2.8--4.8 cm. Fl. Jun--Jul.
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Diagnostic Description

Perennial herbs with blue to purple showy sepals and hairy divided basal leaves. Fruit an achene with feathery plume. Very early flowering.

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Ecology

Habitat

Grassy slopes, mountain slopes under forests; ca. 1100 m.
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Associations

Faunal Associations

The flowers are cross-pollinated by bees, including honeybees, bumblebees, Andrenid bees (Andrena spp.), and Halictid bees (Agapostemon texanus, Halictus rubicundus). The bees collect pollen for their larvae. Syrphid flies also visit the flowers to feed on the pollen, but they are too small to be effective pollinators (Bock & Peterson, 1975; Krombein et al., 1979; Moure & Hurd, 1987). Because the foliage of this plant contains a blistering agent that can irritate the mouth parts and gastrointestinal tract of mammalian herbivores, it is normally avoided by them. Photographic Location
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Flower-Visiting Insects of Pasque Flower in Illinois

Pulsatilla patens (Pasque Flower)
(Bees collect pollen, while Syrphid flies feed on pollen & are non-pollinating; some insects may suck nectar from modified nectaries of the outer stamens; observations are from Moure & Hurd, Bock & Peterson, and Krombein et al. as indicated below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera cp (BP); Apidae (Bombini): Bombus spp. cp (BP)

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon texanus texanus (MH), Halictus rubicunda (MH); Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena spp. cp (BP), Andrena andrenoides andrenoides (Kr)

Flies
Syrphidae: Unidentified species fp np (BP)

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pulsatilla patens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Anemone patens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full sun, dry-mesic to dry conditions, and a gritty soil containing gravel or rocky material. The root system may rot if the soil becomes waterlogged from poor drainage. Open areas with scant ground vegetation are preferred as this reduces competition from other plants. Range & Habitat
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Wikipedia

Pulsatilla patens

Pulsatilla patens is a species of flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae, native to Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China, Canada and the United States. Common names include Eastern pasqueflower, prairie smoke, prairie crocus, and cutleaf anemone.[3]

Taxonomy[edit]

Pulsatilla patens is often placed in the genus Anemone, as Anemone patens L..[3]

Cultural associations[edit]

Pulsatilla patens is the provincial flower of Manitoba, Canada[4] and (as P. hirsutissima) is the state flower of South Dakota, United States.[5]

Declining population noted[edit]

Advocates report that the population of Pulsatilla patens is declining, due to the synergy between the prairie crocus and shortgrass prairie ecosystems. Plowing up the prairie causes the crocus to disappear.[6]

Subdivisions[edit]

Young leaves

Two subspecies have been distinguished:[1][2]

References[edit]

View from above of flowering plant in Belarus
  1. ^ a b Pulsatilla patens USDA PLANTS database
  2. ^ a b Pulsatilla patens subsp. multifida USDA PLANTS database
  3. ^ a b USDA GRIN entry for Anemone patens
  4. ^ Government of Manitoba. "Symbols of Manitoba". Archived from the original on 2005-12-10. Retrieved 2011-04-10. 
  5. ^ Chapter 1 2005 South Dakota Legislative Manual The Mount Rushmore State
  6. ^ "Johnny Caryopsis". "Our Prairie Crocus!". Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Pulsatilla patens ssp. patens is Eurasian (Hitchcock et al. 1964, as Anemone patens var. patens). Kartesz (1994) lists only P. patens ssp. multifida for North America.

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