A solitary pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) growing on the hillside at Barnsley Warren SSSI, in Gloucestershire.
This exquisite, hairy, little plant is also known as the ‘anemone of Passiontide’, because it flowers around Easter time (tomorrow will be Good Friday). Growing only about 4″-5″ tall, it is a member of the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae.
Requiring closely grazed, undisturbed, calcareous and limestone grassland, pasqueflowers growing wild are a rare site in the UK. The plants are now found on only a few steep, south/south-west facing hillsides, such as at this nature reserve at Barnsley Warren, in the Cotswolds. Pasqueflowers are found here in larger quantities than anywhere else in the Cotswolds – the western limit of its European range.
It’s estimated that there are about 20 thousand pasqueflower plants at Barnsley Warren, so hopefully in a couple of weeks or so this hillside should be full of the nodding purple heads of these enchanting flowers.