Sunday, April 24, 2011
Wow, who would've thought that there'd be so much misleading or contrasting information out there on Pasqueflowers?
Ours is just opening today and I thought it'd be interesting to learn more about the plant. I know it's a prairie plant and even can be found in tundra areas. I know it's the state flower of South Dakota and that it has medicinal properties. It's also the provincial emblem for Manitoba
And I know it's one of my favorite spring plants.
Other than that, it seems like there's a lot of misinformation out there. Wikipedia has it listed as Prairie Smoke, which I always thought was a different plant, apparently not? Wiki's never been a favorite source of mine, so I'll use the USDA and the MNDNR sites as references.
The medicinal properties affect the nervous system and were used by the Chippewa and Blackfoot tribes for everything from congestion, to arthritis to childbirth. It was also used to prolong sex due to the fact that it depresses the nervous system. Too much of it though, and it'll cause vomiting and kidney pain. Careful!
Back to the flower...
I love the light green furry foliage, out of which erupts these gorgeous large (4-5") purple flowers with bright yellow stamens. They just have a very unique appearance. Sometimes they look like flowers out of a fairy tale:
I believe this one is a cultivar since it's never reseeded or spread throughout the garden. Every year we get anywhere from 8-16 blooms, after which it provides attractive lacy foliage; a perfect backdrop for other plants.
This year the Pasqueflower is opening nine days later than last year, but only two days later than in 2009.
Spring is finally here!