Pulsatilla pratensis

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Pulsatilla pratensis
Pulsatilla pratensis subsp. bohemica2.jpg
Plant of subsp. bohemica in flower
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Pulsatilla
Species: P. pratensis
Binomial name
Pulsatilla pratensis
(L.) Mill.

Pulsatilla pratensis (Small Pasque Flower) is a species of the genus Pulsatilla, native to central and eastern Europe, from southeast Norway and western Denmark south and east to Bulgaria. It grows from near sea level in the north of the range, up to 2,100 m in the south of its range.[1][2]

It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 8–30 cm tall. The leaves are finely divided and thread-like, and densely covered with silvery hairs. The flowers are 2–3 cm long, pendulous, bell-like, the tepals with reflexed tips; flower colour varies from purple in the north of the species' range to greenish-violet in the south. The flowers are hermaphrodite, and are pollinated by bees; flowering is from early to mid spring.[2][3]

There are four subspecies:[1][4]

  • Pulsatilla pratensis subsp. pratensis
  • Pulsatilla pratensis subsp. bohemica Skalický
  • Pulsatilla pratensis subsp. hungarica Soó
  • Pulsatilla pratensis subsp. nigricans (Störck) Zämelis
Seedhead of subsp. hungarica

Pulsatilla pratensis subsp. hungarica grows in E Slovakia,[5] NE Hungary and NW Romania.[6] In Slovakia and Romania it is categorized as critically endangered CR. In Hungary it is protected by law.[7] It occurs on open sand-plains and avoids limestone. In Hungary it can be found in two regions, the Nyírség and Bodrogköz.[8]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

This plant is toxic, but can be dissipated through heat or drying. It has medicinal uses, and can be used externally to cure ulcers and inflammation of the eyes. It is useful in the treatment of children and infants.[9] Being an endangered species, the gathering of spontaneous (wild) plants is strictly prohibited; only cultivated plants should be harvested for any medicinal or other use.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Flora Europaea: Pulsatilla pratensis
  2. ^ a b Blamey, M. & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. ISBN 0-340-40170-2.
  3. ^ Plants of Hungary: Pulsatilla pratensis (in Hungarian)
  4. ^ Naturfoto: Pulsatilla pratensis subsp. bohemica (in Czech)
  5. ^ Pulsatilla hungarica in Slovakia
  6. ^ Pulsatilla hungarica in Romania
  7. ^ European plant data sheets: Plant conservation in Hungary
  8. ^ Simon, T. (2000). A magyarországi edényes flóra határozója (Field guide to the vascular flora of Hungary).
  9. ^ Plants for a Future: Pulsatilla pratensis