Plant name: Prairie pasqueflower, prairie smoke, windflower, gosling flower, anenome, sandflower, prairie crocus, mountain crocus, lion’s beard
Botanical name: Pulsatilla patens (syn. Anenome patens)
Virtues: One of the first perennials to bloom in early spring. Easy to grow, provided it has good drainage. The state flower of South Dakota.
Foliage: Mid-green 5-inch heart-shaped leaves split into narrow leaflets. Covered in soft hairs that protect the plant from cold and wind.
Flower: Large, violet to lavender-blue and crocus-like. Very apparent bright yellow stamens. Followed by plume-like seedheads.
Habit: Clump-forming perennial. Individual plants are 6 inches high and 4 inches across.
Season: Early spring.
Origin: North America, Siberia, Eastern Europe
Cultivation: Extremely drought tolerant. Tolerant of many types of soil as well as cold temperatures and wind. Requires good drainage. Enjoys full sun but requires some summer shade in warmer climates. USDA Zones 2–8.
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Image source: Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder