One of the earliest flowers to bloom in spring. The whole plant, including the flowers, and soft-silvery-hairy; the seedheads that follow the flowers are feathery balls of silver. One of our favorite perennials.
||full sun-part shade
||ordinary garden soil
||Germinate at room temperature.
detailed seed-starting info below
|Seed ripens||early June|
|One that we grew from seed in 2004 is the subspecies Pulsatilla vulgaris ssp. gotlandica. It bloomed right along with the regular ones in mid-April 2005. As the photos below show, the petals are more rounded than those of the plain species, giving the flowers a rather different look. We like 'm both.
|Another variety, blooming for the first time for us this year, is 'Rote Glocke', which is just about perfectly red. Even though the German name translates to 'Red Bells', the English version (as sold by Thompson and Morgan, for example) seems to be 'Red Cloak'. In fact, most of our pasqueflowers are offspring of seed labeled as such, but which sprouted the common purple variety. We got the red ones shown below at Point Phillip Perennials, and I think they are dandy.
|Finally, after two attempts from seed, the variety 'Alba' turns out true (a previous attempt yielded the regular purple variety) |
|I couldn't resist sticking another photo of ssp. gottlandica on this page... |
We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.
One or more images of this plant are included in my stock photo catalog
About my plant portraits
PlantLinks to other web pages about Pulsatilla vulgaris
Visitors to this page have left the following comments
|Rino||Apr 25, 2009||I have sowed some seeds of Red Cloak I purchased on Value Seeds website. Here is my schedule:
I sowed them on Jan 18, 2009.
Refrigerated on Feb 04, 2009.
I took them outside on Mar 28, 2009
...but they still have not germinated! I am actually following the Thompson & Morgan instructions to germinate Pulsatilla, and apparently what I am doing is just as they describe it. It is written I will just have to keep waiting 1-4 months after taking the seeds out of the refrigerator. Well, it's almost 1 month already past and I still didn't get any 1 to germinate yet though. Do you think everything I did is alright?|
Pulsatilla vulgaris doesn't require cold treatment in my experience. They should germinate in about two weeks at room temperature. I suspect your seed was subpar...
|Lauri||May 01, 2009||I just received some red cloak seeds as a bonus with some sedum I ordered. I live in Southwest Texas where it is very warm and very little rain. Since these plants don't like to be transplanted. Should I just sow them now directly in the ground where I want them to grow? Or should I start them inside? |
Pulsatillas have never self-sowed for me - it's probably safer to start them indoors. If I were you I'd keep them in the fridge till next winter, and start them then - your summer would be very harsh on small pulsatillas.
|Laurie||Aug 02, 2009||I am trying to germinate some P. vulgaris seed I collected this spring. Should I have removed the feathery parts or not? I didn't.... Assuming I get abundant germination, should I plant out seedlings regardless of size this fall or overwinter under plant lights as plugs or in pots? Info on follow up after germination appears to be lacking in my many resources.... Thanks!|
They'll germinate with or without tails - takes about two weeks. I think they should be fine to overwinter outside - but make sure to get them into the ground by early fall, so they have plenty of time to establish themselves before winter. That's assuming you're not in a much colder climate than Pennsylvania's...
|Irena Montuori||Oct 11, 2009||The Pulsatillas in my garden seem to be happy. About 5 years ago I started with one plant, but each year in summer I gather the dried seeds of the plants, put them in the freezer for a day or two and sow them directly in the garden. The seedlings are mature enough to survive Ontario winters and some plants will start blooming the following year. I must have about 30 plants, not to mention sharing some of them with friends. My favorite spring flower, just love it! I love the above photographs, thanks Rob.|
- Seed for 'Violet Bells' collected in '00. Baggy 70F (80%G, 13-20d).
Seed for 'Red Cloak from '00 garden. Baggy 70F (30%G, 9-23d).
- Seed for 'Alba' from '01 trade. Baggy 70F (30%G, 12-19d). Turned out to be purple when it flowered in '03
- Seed for 'Rubra' from '03 trade. Baggy 70F (40%G, 12-20d)
Seed for 'Red Cloak' from '03 garden. Baggy 70F (65%G, 12-17d)
Seed for ssp. gotlandica from '03 trade. Baggy 70F (60%G, 12-21d)
Seed for 'Alba' from '03 trade. Baggy 70F (60%G, 12-32d)
- Seed from '05 garden. Baggy 70F (77%G, 11-20d)
- Seed for sp. from '06 garden. Baggy 70F (80%G, 12-19d);
Seed for 'Rote Glocke' from '06 garden. Baggy 70F (70%G, 12-19d);
Seed for 'Alba' from '03 trade. Baggy 70F (no G, 21d);
Seed for ssp. gottlandica from '03 trade. Baggy 70F (no G, 21d)
- Seed for 'Rote Glocke' from '07 garden. Baggy 70F (55%G, 10-19d)
Seed for P. rubra (most likely P. v. 'Rubra') from NARGS '07/'08 exchange. Baggy 70F (15d) - 35F (4w) - 70F (22%G, 3-11d)
- Seed from 'Rote Glocke' from '08 garden. Baggy 70F (68%G, 10-20d)
- Same seed as above. Baggy 70F (40%G, 13-30d)
- Seed from '10 garden. Baggy 70F (85%G, 12-28d)
- Seed from '11 garden. Baggy 70F (30%G, 12-22d)
- Seed from '14 garden, cold-stored. Baggy 70F (92%G, 13-22d)
Viability is clearly limited to a year or two; within that range, germination is straightforward at room temperature.
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February 11, 2012