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Pasque Flower

Pasque flower, windflower, or meadow anemone are common names for the Pulsatilla, whose blooming is one of the first signs of spring. The genus Pulsatilla includes various species, and the name Pasque refers to Easter (Passover), as the flowers bloom around that time of year. Members of the buttercup family, in Hungary we can find Pulsatilla grandis (leánykökörcsin), with its lavender flower, and Pulsatilla pratensis ssp. nigricans (fekete kökörcsin), used medicinally during ancient times, and as a homeopathic remedy even in the modern days.

The beautiful, 5-7 cm diameter, bell-shaped, velvety, lilac flowers of Pulsatilla grandis bloom towards the end of March. On the stems and underneath the sepals, the pasqueflower is densely covered with silver, silky hairs.

Black Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla pratensis ssp. nigricans)
Black Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla pratensis ssp. nigricans)
Photo: Zoltan Vajda / Kiskunsag National Park


The Black Pasque Flower blooms a few weeks after Pulsatilla grandis. Only a few small populations are known in the Danube-Tisza Interfluve region (Duna-Tisza köze). These habitats are included in the NATURA 2000 sites.

This beautiful plant with drooping flowers of deep blue/purple with a central boss of golden stamens has hairy, ferny leaves. The flowers are much smaller than those of the Pulsatilla grandis, and their back is also densely covered with silky hair.

It is in full bloom in March-April, and towards the end of May it brings fruit that "plants itself". On the end of its fruit there is a part that dries up to a spiral. When the fruit fallen to the ground gets dump, the spiral straightens, and this live spring drives the seed into the ground.

The Black Pasque Flower is toxic. When distilled, we obtain anemone camphor, which was used for medicinal purposes. Pulsatilla was prescribed for asthma, bronchitis, arthritis, rheumatism, and hydropsia.

A protected plant, the Black Pasque Flower is valued at 30,000 HUF.


Links


What is Natura 2000?

What is the Natura 2000 Networking Programme?