late April to early May
Pasque was first discovered in South Dakota long before Europeans settled in the area
The Pasque flower is used in treating eye diseases like cataracts.
The Pasque flower was approved as the official floral emblem of South Dakota in 1903. The first flower to show its blossoms to settling Europeans in spring, it became the subject of Indian songs and legends.
A member of the Buttercup family, the tundra-loving Pasque is a small solitary bell-shaped flower with gorgeous blue to reddish purple colors, bearing plumed seed heads and golden stamens. It has handsome seed clusters that look like feathery, smoky gray pompoms. The blooming period of Pasque is from April to May, lasting for two weeks. As soon as it blooms, it signals the start of spring to South Dakotans and lights up the landscape from Mount Vernon to Sioux City.
Pasque is a low perennial, rarely exceeding 6 inches in height, and its furry leaf clusters appear rapidly after winter snow disappears. Large, flashy lavender flowers open soon thereafter consisting of 5-8 petal-like sepals, elongated clusters of white to purple, and a ring of numerous yellow stamens. The petal color ranges from deep violet to white. The long silky hairs that cover the finely divided, lobed leaves give the plant a sparkly silver sheen. These leaves continuously expand after the flowers open. The flowering stalk or stem is densely covered with silky hairs, helping to insulate it.
Pasque, all parts of which are poisonous, grows wild throughout the state, plus is distributed from the northwestern U.S. to northern Alaska. The hardy plant is best adapted to cool, moist climates and rarely succeeds in warm dry areas.
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