About Pasque Flower: Pasque Flower bursts into bloom about a month earlier than most other native spring flowers, making it one of the earliest prairie plants to blossom. Its cold hardiness allows it to thrive as far north as the state of Alaska; the silky hairs on the stems and blossoms provide insulation from cold. "Pasque," which means "passion," refers to the plant's habit of blooming around the time of Easter. Its unusual flowers, which resemble European crocuses, caused early European immigrants to give it the common name of prairie crocus. Once established, pasque flower plants can live for 50 years or more with more blossoms in each year of growth.
Pasque Flower Germination: Pasque Flower seed needs to be stratified to break its dormancy. The easiest method of stratification is to direct sow the seed just below the surface of the soil in late fall, allowing the process to take place naturally with the cold of winter. The seed can also be mixed with moist sand, refrigerated for 60 days, and planted just below the surface of the soil in the spring after the last frost. Since this plant hates being transplanted, it grows best when planted directly out rather than being started indoors. It grows best in well-drained, sandy, or rocky soils and full sun. This plant also grows from root cuttings.
Growing Pasque Flower Seeds: In their first one or two years of growth, pasque flowers put all their energy into developing their extensive root system. In the third year, they will begin blooming in earnest. This plant tolerates drought well, and should not be over watered; excess moisture in the soil can cause root rot. If the seeds are left to drop and have enough moisture, volunteer plants will germinate right away; if the ground is too dry, they will sprout in the next spring.
Harvesting Pasque Flower: Pasque Flower is no longer considered safe for medicinal or culinary use.
Saving Pasque Flower Seeds: The fluffy seed heads should be harvested as soon as they will readily separate from the stem, since they will fly away on the wind if left too long. The long plumes should be removed from the seeds. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Pasque Flower Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Prairie Crocus, Easter Flower, Crocus Anemone Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Spring Height: 6-12 inches Spacing: 9-12 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Dry USDA Zone: 4a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 18,000 Produces deeply cut, star-shaped green foliage and downy 3" lavender/white flowers with yellow stamens.