Pulsatilla Mill.

Origin of name uncertain.

Tufted perennial herbs with fibrous rootstocks. Leaves mostly basal, pinnately, palmately or irregularly divided and with 3 involucral leaves just below the flower, stalkless and generally fused together at the base. Flowers solitary, perianth segments mostly 6 with silky hair on the outer surface. Stamens surrounded by nectar-secreting sterile stamens (staminodes). Carpels free, numerous and with long styles that become feathery in fruit.

Not commonly grown except in cool areas. Known largely through 3 species: P. halleri (All.) Willd. has few if any leaves at flowering and the flower stems are densely hairy; P. patens (L.) Mill., Eastern Pasque Flower from Eurasia and N America has palmate leaves; P. vulgaris Mill., Pasque Flower, from Europe, has pinnate leaves well developed at flowering and with flower stalks with few if any hairs.

Plants often covered with a sheen of silky hair and with attractive feathery seeds. Similar to the Anemone but differing in having styles that become feathery in fruit also the nectar-secreting sterile stamens.

About 30 northern temperate species.

Zimmerman (1958).

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Ranunculaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Ranunculanae
order      Ranunculales
family       Ranunculaceae