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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Pasque in its Glory

<asque flower (Anemone patens) is one of the very first prairie flowers to bloom in the spring. These small flowers can be found on top of hills in the prairie and identified by their six lavender petals and the fact that they are the only flower around. In addition to their luscious petals, these bad boys tote a solar array of numerous stamens, blazing like a beacon from the midst of the petals.

They are also coated in some exciting little fuzz which helps to insulate them when they emerge, which is often while there is still snow on the ground. In addition to keeping the plant warm, the hairy stalk of a pasque flower keeps people who rub it happy, because it is super soft.

In addition to their beauty and fuzziness, pasque flowers have awide variety of medicinal qualities, including but not limited to use as a diaphoretic, diuretic or salve. Feisty critters that these flowers are, they can cause depression, nervousness, and intestinal distress when being used as medicine, so caution is advised.

The pasque flower—also known as the Eastern pasque flower, the prairie crocus or the cutleaf anemone—and its close relatives can be found in prairies ranging from the arctic circle to the southern United States, across Europe, Asia and North America. Included in that range, of course, is Northfield, and these audacious little plants are blooming this very instant in the Cowling Arboretum and McKnight Prairie (unless you are reading this in thef all or something, in which case they aren’t).

Although they have not yet gained the world-wide recognition that these famefated flowers deserve, they are the state flower of South Dakota, as well as the provincial flower of Manitoba—it’s a start.

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