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Pasque Flower

Pulsatilla vulgaris

A harbinger of spring, pasque flower blossoms begin to emerge before the plant’s feathery, fernlike foliage has fully expanded. Be sure to plant this low-growing plant near the front of the garden border or near an entryway or patio so you can enjoy its early spring flowers, fuzzy silver foliage, and frilly pom-pom seed heads. After the flowers fade and the seed heads fall, enjoy the foliage for weeks in summer. The leaves may die back at the end of the summer, but easy-to-grow pasque flower is one of the first plants to emerge the following spring.

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Under 6 inches to 12 inches


4 to 8 inches, depending on variety

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garden plans for Pasque flower

Best Planting Partners

Pasque flowers are the ideal planting partners for early spring bloomers such as species tulips and wildflower tulips, miniature daffodils, and crocus. Just like the early spring bulbs, pasque flower is an invaluable source of nectar for honeybees and native bees that forage in early spring. Plant drifts of three to five pasque flowers among large clumps of bulbs to create a bold display of nature's early-season beauty.

Pair pasque flower with garden phlox, low-growing sedums, perennial geranium, lady's mantle, yarrow, blanket flower, daylily, and goldenrod for a flower show that continues through fall. Pasque flower foliage will complement these mid- and late-season bloomers. Enjoy pasque flowers' seed heads in the garden or harvest them for a striking bouquet.

Find more early-spring flowers perfect for the mountain west.

Pasque Flower Care Must-Knows

Plant this long-lived perennial in well-drained soil and full or part sun. In moist climates or heavy soil, plant pasque flower on sloping beds or hillsides or in raised beds so they have adequate drainage. Pasque flower grows best in northern climates where it receives a prolonged winter chill. 

Established plants have a long taproot and are tough to divide. Instead of dividing plants, purchase new cultivars from the garden center and keep an eye out for seedlings that emerge around the base of established plants. Seedlings can be transplanted with ease in spring and early summer. Water transplants well for about four weeks after planting.

Love silver-leaf plants? Add more to your garden using this list!

Great Garden Cultivars

'Alba' has creamy white flowers and blooms in late spring. 'Papageno' is an eye-catching mix of creamy white, bright pink, dark red, and violet flowers that are fringed and semi-double. 'Rote Glocke' has deep crimson flowers and is also called 'Red Bells' or 'Red Cloak.' 'Rubra' has wine-red flowers.

Plant Pasque Flower With:

Basket-of-gold is one of those plants that loves to grow in the least likely of place -- cracks between paving stones, the edge of gravel paths and patios, rocky outcroppings, between the stacked stones of a retaining wall, and more. It loves a baked spot with excellent drainage but will struggle in hot, humid areas and tends not to do well in the South.But where it does well, it's a showstopper. It will reseed prolifically in little cracks, filling an area each spring with dazzling neon yellows. After it finishes blooming, the grayish-green foliage makes an attractive mat in the perennial garden.
Rock cress
Rock cress, as you can guess from the name, is one of those plants that like tough love -- give it a hot, dry crack between some stones somewhere and it will flourish. It can cover a stacked-stone wall or rocky outcropping with beautiful blue-purple flowers.Purple rock cress usually has purple or blue flowers, but rock wall cress is more likely to bloom in white or pink. Both make attractive low mounds that look great at the edge of retaining wall where they get full sun and excellent drainage. Cut stems back after spring bloom to keep plants compact.
Phlox are one of those bounteous summer flowers any large sunny flowerbed or border shouldn't be without. There are several different kinds of phlox. Garden and meadow phlox produce large panicles of fragrant flowers in a wide assortment of colors. They also add height, heft, and charm to a border. Low-growing wild Sweet William, moss pinks, and creeping phlox are effective as ground covers, at the front of the border, and as rock and wild garden plants, especially in light shade. These native gems have been hybridized extensively especially to toughen the foliage against mildew problems; many recent selections are mildew-resistant. Phlox need amply moist soil for best overall health.
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