Prairie Crocus (Anemone patens)

Prairie Crocus (Anemone patens)
Also known as: prairie anemone, pasque flower


Bloom time: April – May

Additional photos:

General: These beautiful wildflowers arise from woody roots and often form colonies.

Leaves & Twigs: Basal leaves are grey-green in colour, and divided into narrow lobes. The basal leaves appear after the flower fades.

Flowers & Fruits:

  • Each flower is 4 cm in diameter, with five-to-seven, pale blue to purple, petal-like sepals.
  • When folded, the outer surface of the sepals appear covered in white woolly hairs.
  • The flowers are open during the day but close at night.
  • After the flower fades and the sepals fall off, a shaggy cluster of seeds develops.

Habitat: Grows in prairies and in dry, open woods. Prefers sandy soil and sunny areas.

PlantWatch Pointers: Select a typical patch of plants, if the plants are very abundant, mark off a l-metre-square section to observe.

To Observe:

  • First bloom: when the first flowers are open in the observed plants.
  • Mid bloom: when most blooms are open, very few are still emerging from the soil, and the stem between the flower and the stem leaf is about 3 cm long.

Distribution Map:

Distribution Map

This species is monitored in:

  • Alberta
  • Manitoba
  • Northwest Territories
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

The genus name Anemone comes from the Greek word for “wind”. Anemone plants are known as windflowers, because it was believed that they blossomed only when the wind blew in springtime.