Plant of the Month for February 2015

Pulsatilla pratensis 'Nigricans'
Pulsatilla pratensis subspecies nigricans

Description and General Information:

Pulsatilla pratensis, also known as small pasqueflower or meadow anemone, is native from Norway across Europe to Bulgaria, growing from seaside meadows, steppes to alpines tundra at 2100 m. 

It is a tufted species with several basal growths.  It grows to 30 cm with divided, feathery, hairy foliage.  Flowers are solitary, nodding, 3 to 4 cm long.  Flower colour varies from dark purple-black, through shades of violet to wine-red and even yellow.

There are three additional subspecies: pratensis, hungarica and bohemica.



This species requires a well-drained site in full sun.  The plants are quite drought-tolerant.  It does not seem to be particular about the soil pH.  It is a tap-rooted species and resents transplanting.  It is rated hardy through zone 3.

Blooming Period:

April in the south to June in the north.




The seeds of Pulsatilla are short-lived so it is best to sown them as soon as they are ripe in late summer.early fall.  Seeds sown fresh in the autumn, then left outdoors to experience the winter freeze-thaw cycles, generally germinated well in the spring.  Older seeds may be coaxed into germination with the use of GA.  Removal of the tails on the seed may also help in their germination.


Being a tap-rooted species, division is not generally an option.


.As the plant has all basal growths, there is no stem material available for cutting purposes.