The Pasqueflower: County Flower of Hertfordshire

As its name suggests, the pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) blooms around Easter-time.

As its name suggests, the pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) blooms around Easter-time. Hertfordshire is one of the last remaining strongholds of this rare plant.

One of the largest colonies is at Therfield Heath, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Local Nature Reserve near Royston.

The purple petals surround a tuft of yellow stamens, and are followed by distinctive and long-lasting silvery seed heads. The pasqueflower’s alternative name is Dane’s Blood.

Legend has it that the flower grew from the blood of Danes, perhaps because it was found growing on old earthworks such as barrows and boundary banks. These are often sited in the chalky soil the plant prefers.