Friday, December 28, 2012

Provincial Post - Manitoba Prairie Crocus


Last winter I began a series of posts called Provincial Posts where I showcase one of Canada's provincial flowers. As it is now officially winter (I have snow, about 4 inches of fluffy real snow) I thought to reprise these posts.

The Prairie crocus or Pulsatilla patens was adopted as the provincial flower of Manitoba  in 1906. The province decided to do something creative and asked school children to vote on their choice of flower to represent the province.


Photo courtesy of Nature North


Also known as Anemone patens, the Prairie Crocus flower blooms in early spring before the snow melts on the prairie. Beautiful mauve to purple blossoms appear first and reach a height of 6 inches. The plant blooms for about two weeks and prefers to open its blossoms when the sun is out. When the leaves emerge this native perennial grows to one and a half feet tall.  Both the sepals and especially the stems of the crocus are covered in long silky hairs that shine brilliantly in the sun. The basal leaves that emerge as the flowers are failing are in three's and are finely dissected. The undersides of the leaves are also covered in silky hairs.

Bees are the primary pollinators of the Prairie crocus. Halictid bees are known to pollinate the crocus (Agapostemon texanus texanus and Halictus rubicunda). The seeds are produced by June and in ideal moist conditions can germinate right away. Otherwise the seeds go dormant and wait until next spring to germinate. By mid July in Manitoba the crocus begins to die back, just as most other perennials are coming into their prime.

Prairie crocus is in the family Ranunculaceae, native to Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China, Canada and the United States. Plants in Eurasia tend to have more variety in colour than our native crocus. Common names include Eastern pasqueflower, prairie smoke, prairie crocus, and cutleaf anemone.

Photo courtesy of Nature North




Where the heck is Manitoba?

courtesy::http://www.map-of-canada.org/about.htm
It is the province in bright fuschia

10 comments:

  1. How interesting! I have never heard about Pulsatilla patens, but I have tried growing Pulsatilla vulgaris in my own garden, with not much luck. I don't think they liked my heavy, acid London soil.
    We are supposed to have winter here, but it's more like spring - my daffodils, irises and crocuses are on their way up, I have even seen the tips of some tulips!
    Hope you have a nice Christmas holiday, all the best for 2013.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I expect your bulbs will survive through your mild winter, tho' I suppose that could change. Happy New Year to you Helene!

      Delete
  2. Prarie Crocus is a nice name for this sweet flower that indicates the arrival of spring. Wishing you and family Happy New Year 2013!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a pretty little flower isn't it. I saw photos of some in Turkey and they were a dark blue purple, very nice. Thanks for the kind wishes, and the best to you in 2013.

      Delete
  3. Znam je z pierwszej nazwy i nie mogę się doczekać, jak zobaczę je wiosną w moim ogródku. Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku.
    I know them from the first name and I can not wait to see them in my garden in the spring. Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you will post some photos of your Pulsatilla, I would like to see them. Happy New Year to you and your family.

      Delete
  4. That is a pretty flower, one I do not have here, but wish I did. I know where Manitoba is located. It is funny, but I just replied to a comment on my starling post and noted that the starlings migrate from around Winnipeg to pass though our area. Coincidence that I mentioned Manitoba.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Manitobans will thank you for the mention, not many people know about them :)

      Delete
  5. Sweet that the children were consulted for their favorite flower :) Best wishes for a wonderful New Year, Patty!

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is a lovely flower. I saw extraordinarily large Pulsatilla flowering in the Prague Botanical Garden just before Easter, which was early that year. Large or small, they are wonderful flowers. I drove across Manitoba with my parents in the summer of 1973. A song called Misty Manitoba Morning was playing on the radio. Thanks for your thoughts on what makes a garden.

    ReplyDelete