Pasque flower

Pulsatilla pratensis

Pasque flower, photo: Tallinn Environment Department

Pasque flower is a perennial herbaceous plant, belonging to the Ranunculaceae family (small pasque flowers). It grows in dry places with a lot of light and in soil low in nutrients in pine groves, sandy slopes, and alvar forests, but can also grow in acidic sandy soils on alvar meadows and even on railway beds. The plants are totally covered in hair – the stems, the leaves, and the flowers. The seeds, however, have especially long hair. Picking them is not recommended – in addition to being protected, the entire plant is poisonous. Airborne poison damages the eyes and the respiratory system, but when exposed to skin, it causes redness, itching, swelling, and blisters, which are later replaced by ulcers that do not heal easily. Under protection (protection category III).