American pasqueflower, prairie crocus
pulsatilla patens, pulsatilla ludoviciana, anemone patens var multifida
The Rocky Mountain states, and the northern Great Plains
Open hillsides, prairie, open woodland; up to 12,400 feet
Divided 1 to 3 times into thin, linear lobes; up to 2 inches long, on stalks of up to 4 inches
The large, attractive, cup-shaped flowers of anemona patens are produced singly, at the top of a stout, hairy stem. Flowers have five to eight oblong sepals, colored purple or blue, ranging from pale to dark in shade; when pale, the outersurfaces are darker. The sepals enclose a ring of 150 to 200 yellow stamens around a group of whitish pistils. Occasionally the sepals are all-white. Sepals are up to 1.5 inches long; they have pointed tips, and are crossed by thin, darker veins. The outer surfaces are hairy, the inner surfaces hairless. Beneath the sepals are three unlobed bracts, also hairy, their edges lined by irregular teeth.
Plants have a small number of basal leaves, usually between five and eight, divided into thin, linear, lobes, covered by long, soft, silky hairs. Around the middle of the stems are three more leaves, stalkless and smaller than those at the base, arranged in a whorl. Fruits are single seeds attached to a feathery plume, up to 1.5 inches in length.