Friday, 19 April 2019

A Flower For Easter

Pasqueflowers are not easily found - they rank amongst the ten rarest wild flowers in Britain.
They bloom during this Easter period, hence the name pasque, a word derived from pasakh, which is Hebrew for Passover.
It prefers to grow undisturbed in chalk and limestone grasslands, and can be found here in the Cotswolds just a stones throw from where I live. However, unless you know exactly where to look, finding it can be tricky. 
Several myths and legends surround the Pasqueflower -  it is said that the plant was first created from drops of Adonis' blood after he was gored by a wild boar on Mount Lebanon - Adonis being the mortal lover of the goddess Aphrodite. Others say that the plant sprang from her tears after she learnt of his death. An alternative legend states that the flower sprang from the blood of dead Viking warriors, probably because it thrives in this country on some of our chalky Neolithic Barrows. Years ago I lived in Hertfordshire, and it was there that I saw my first wild Pasqueflower. The flowers were thriving near to the small town of Royston on a well drained, chalky, grassy mound called Church Hill, but a mound that is known to be a prehistoric chamber tomb. 
Fairy folk lore tells of fairies resting inside it's furry flowers at sundown.
With it's purple petals covered in long, silky, white, hairs, bright yellow stamens, and grey-green feathery leaves, it is actually possible to grow these little gems, but only if you have a southerly aspect, and well drained chalky/alkaline soil. They can be hard to establish, but once they are thriving, they will continue to flourish as long as you leave them undisturbed.
Wishing you all a Very Happy Easter.

39 comments:

  1. I have never heard of the beautiful pasqueflower, and how perfect that it blooms for Easter. Wishing you a very Happy Easter too, Rosemary.

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    1. Have a lovely Easter Patricia, hopefully with your family.

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  2. They still grow on Church Hill - more in some years than others. I haven't been up there to check this year.

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    1. Should you be passing there soon and have a moment to spare, I would love to see a photo of them John.

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  3. Hello Rosemary, It is a real thrill to find a rare wildflower, especially one as spectacular as the pasqueflower. Nature does tend to reward those who look closely.

    A very Happy Easter to you and your family.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - wishing you a very happy Easter break too.

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  4. Beautiful flowers!! I think we had similar flowers in our garden when I was growing up. They were numerous and a delight to see everyday!

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  5. I am aware of other flowers known as pasqueflowers in their local areas, and I suspect that it simply has to do with the fact that they bloom right around Easter. I have never been advised of any particular legend associated with them.

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    1. Dear David - you also have a slightly different version of the Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla - Anemone genus) growing in Canada. Your flowers tend to be much paler than ours, more of a lavender colour along with white. Apparently other common names used in Canada are prairie crocus or windflower.
      I read that it is the floral emblem of Manitoba, and that in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Living Prairie Museum celebrates its emblem with "Crocus Days"

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  6. Soooo beautiful! Your photos really do it justice. I love that shade of blue and those soft, silky hairs are delightful. Enjoy the beautiful weather whatever you're doing this weekend. Best, Jane x

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    1. Dear Jane - as you mention the weather is delightful, and I hope that you too have a happy weekend. Glad that you enjoyed the photos of this beautiful little flowers.

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  7. Your photography shows the vitality and beauty of the flower by each detail, Rosemary. Thank you for sharing such a rare flower. While I stayed away from blogging, you seem to have been so creative and productive. Nerve pain seems to take long time to heal on its own or only with Vitamin 12 but now I think I’m controlling it. See you soon.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko - I have missed you here in blogland, and I am really sorry to learn that you have been suffering from nerve pain. I do hope that you are feeling much better very soon. I have never had nerve pain but imagine that it must be very painful. Sending you all of my very best wishes and do take care.

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  8. A truly beautiful flower and the color so perfect to celebrate these days leading up to Easter. I doubt it grows well here in our heavy clay soil.
    I'm hoping all is well Rosemary and you enjoy the Easter weekend in what sounds like great weather over there!
    Mary X

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    1. Dear Mary - the heavy clay soil would be an absolute 'no' 'no' for these flowers as you guessed. All is still a bit mixed over here Mary - I will drop you a line. We have wonderful skies today and the temperature is a perfect 25℃.

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  9. Happy Easter Rosemary!
    This is my first introduction to the Pasqueflowers. They are beautiful, I love the white fur on the petals. I can sure understand why a fairy would want to have a nap inside one of those. ;-) I am not sure from the photos what the scale of the blooms are. Thank you for sharing them.

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    1. It is a member of the genus Anemone tribe Catherine so if you know those flowers then it is similar in size but slightly smaller. Happy Easter to you Catherine and thank you for all of the visits that you have made here over the years.

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    2. Anemones are another one of my favorites. :-)

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  10. Beautiful! Have never seen one of these before. They remind me a bit of a crocus though.

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    1. You have three common names for them in Canada - pasqueflower, prairie crocus, or windflower. Yours are a little different to ours as they tend to be more of a lavender colour.

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  11. Dearest Rosemary,
    Never before saw this Pulsatilla vulgaris, as its botanical name is. It is native to Europe so you will have chances of finding it indeed!
    Love your photos, especially the last one with its silky details.
    Happy Easter to you and your loved ones!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. These delightful flowers are at risk all over Europe due to much of their habitat being taken for pastureland.
      A slightly different Pulsatilla hirsutissima grows in South Dakota - it is more of a solitary tall grass prairie flower - it is their official state flower.
      Wishing you both a lovely Easter.

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    2. Thanks Rosemary, that looks indeed like a close 'cousin'! Didn't know that. So what did we learn today...? ๐Ÿ’œ

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    3. I learnt that there are in fact roughly 33 Pulsatilla species.

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  12. Dear Rosemary,
    The Pasque flower is beautiful and all the more so for her rarity. Your photos show it off to perfection. The fuzzy leaves make it look like it's surrounded by soft feathers. Happy Easter!

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    1. Dear Lorrie - I was actually surprised when I saw just how feathery it was seeing it close up on the computer. It does not appear quite so downy when seen with the naked eye. Enjoy your Easter break.

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  13. Thank you for your visit - I am that pleased that you enjoyed seeing these lovely little flowers.

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    1. Thank you for your visit - I am that pleased that you enjoyed seeing these lovely little flowers.

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  14. What a treat to see this unusual flower...with so many interesting myths attached.

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    1. I think probably these myths have grown up around it because it is different - it almost looks like it is wearing a white feather boa.

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  15. It's lovely flower, actually the Pulsatilla can be found in Italy quite easily , love the English name for it . Wishing you a Happy Easter !

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    1. I remember once finding a very pretty yellow alpine one in the Dolomites.

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  16. Yael dropped by and shared with me that you posted the same flowers as I did.
    Your portraits of them are gorgeous, truly. So fun to learn some folklore about them too.
    Last year when I went to visit these flowers I got to see a sparkly emerald colored bee in one, maybe it was a fairy!

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    1. A sparkly emerald coloured bee sounds delightful, and who knows maybe it was a fairy!

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