|Pulsatilla vulgaris in early April|
|Pulsatilla patens by the Foothills highway south of Boulder|
I think my favorite will always be our native species, so common throughout the Piemont mesas and foothills of Colorado. I have seen it above timberline on Medicine Bow pass and also in the Collegiate peaks. These rather small specimens were all that I found where there are usually huge clumps during last year's drought.
|Frontal view of the same...couldn't resist!|
Pulsatilla vulgaris (Red shades)
I am not at all convinced this is the correct name for this diminutive morsel which I first grew a quarter century ago. I would grow it--again and again--from various sources and it would survive two, maybe three years before disappearing. I decided it was a miff (or is it a mimp? two extremely useful rock garden adjectives coined by H. Lincoln Foster, one of my heros)...
Then, Laporte Avenue Nursery began selling it (don't try--they don't have it this year). Their form looked identical to what I used to grow--only it was husky and vigorous. I have a half dozen wonderful clumps from them that bloom late in the pasque flower season, and delight me for weeks on end....
But what of Pulsatilla campanella which I have grown for years, and admired on the Tian Shan mountains? And the brooding P. pratensis in its many forms...or the opalescent cups of P. vernalis which I admired by the thousand on the Engadine half a lifetime ago...And the huge clumps of P. occidentalis in the Northern Rockies mimicking P. alpina in the Alps?
There's a lot more needs to be shown and said about this wonderful group of indispensable wildflowers...