Friends of Kootenay Blog

Access stories and photos about the natural and human history of Kootenay National Park and Columbia Valley Includes highlights about the Friends of Kootenay National Park activities and programs.


More on the "Prairie Crocus"

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version


       Friends of Kootenay received this note from 
Ben Gadd, authour of Handbook of the Canadian Rockies.

“I have kept track of the blooming-onset date for this plant for many years, first in Jasper and now here in Canmore. Was April 11th this year. April 28th last year, when we had a late spring. 

Here's a great trick question: "What's the earliest flower in the Rockies?" Most people will reply "prairie crocus" (I like "pasque flower" better for this plant, 'cause it ain't a crocus and it blooms in the mountains as well as on the prairies), but the correct answer is actually pussy willow. Near Jasper, I've seen catkins on these things in January!

Heck, one could phrase this question: "What's the first flower of winter?

Enjoying your nature notes,

--- Ben

PS: Did you know that the Latin name for this plant is now Pulsatilla patens? Alas, the genus Anemone has lost a favorite.”

PlantWatch  A program enabling people to record and share flowering times of selected plants like the  "prairie crocus" with researchers and other "citizen scientists."