Soft, Delicate & Strange: Red Pasque Flower

They are out early this year, especially this plant, a variety named ‘Red Bells’ that I planted last spring in my own garden — it is already on its third bloom!

Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is one of my favourite spring ephemerals and a wonderful perennial plant that thrives in full sun or part shade rock gardens. I have mine planted just at the edge of my dry bed/rock garden where dry pea gravel meets a slightly moister wood chip pathway and early morning shade is cast by the house. Pulsatilla is a good choice for dry spots underneath slightly shady trees as it seems to grow tolerant to drought once established.

I find the soft and delicate hairiness of this plant irresistible and after flowering the silky seed pods leave behind something to look as well as some seeds to help it spread.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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7 thoughts on “Soft, Delicate & Strange: Red Pasque Flower

    • Oh yes, bloodroot is another great choice. I bought this pulsatilla as a transplant last year. I had to have one big enough to bloom this spring!

  1. Didn’t even KNOW about this plant! I agree with Jen that your photo — as well as the flower itself — is stunning!

  2. Is that picture current?
    Here on WC our flowering bulbs haven’t flowered yet — well, likely in Vancouver they have (I’m an hour away, towards Whistler – it makes a 2-3 week difference).

    I will have to source this plant out — I have a few locations it would do well in.

    Gorgeous picture btw

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