Mystery Plant – October/November 2009

This one’s a hard one! We weren’t able to pick a winner last month (no one from the United States guessed correctly), so here are some hints:

This plant is not a meadow rue.
It’s hardy from Zones 8 to 10.
It’s native to Mexico.

If you know the genus and species of this month’s mystery plant, you could win a free one-year subscription to Fine Gardening. Send your entry, along with your complete mailing address, by November 30, 2009 to [email protected]. The winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries.

Pulsatilla vulgaris , syn. Anemone pulsatilla
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

Last month’s mystery plant was pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris, syn. Anemone pulsatilla). This European native is almost as well known for its seed heads (shown) as it’s bell-shaped, fuzzy, violet flowers and silky, ferny foliage. It flowers in early spring, and the seed heads are in full glory about a month later. The plant grows to about 8 inches tall and wide and it prefers full sun and fertile, very well-drained soil. It is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. Bea Brockman of Buxton, Maine, was chosen at random from all correct entries to receive a free one-year subscription to Fine Gardening. Congratulations, Bea!

What eLetter subscribers have to say about Pulsatilla vulgaris:

“I have this plant, but it has never bloomed for me! I think I’ll have to move it to a brighter spot and see what happens!”
-Lynn S. Pennett, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

“I’ve had this one for many years, and find it to be a full three-season plant, with its furry buds and stems, lovely five-petaled flowers, and as captured in the contest photo, showy seed heads. It begins blooming early, as a nice compliment to spring flowering bulbs, and its ferny foliage stays attractive until frost, rather than going dormant in the summer heat as so many other early bloomers do.
-Julie Finucane, Owosso, Michigan

“We have a number of these, and they are so hopeful in the spring! They are one of the first perennials in our garden to bloom, and the seed heads look so pretty afterwards.”
-Christina Russin, Bristol, Wisconsin

“Love the fluff!”
-Dawn Travis, Everett, Washington

“I looked forward to seeing mine bloom every spring.”
-Mary Chapman, Detroit, Michigan

“It is one of my favorite flowers. I even love the fussy seed heads after they have bloomed.”
-Fran Julian, Kennewick, Washington

“This is a plant I need to re-establish in my garden; I miss its spring bloom!”
-Donna Gisch, Farmington, Minnesota

“I have one in my garden and I love the different stages it goes through every year, including its feathery seed heads, like in your picture.”
-Jody Byers, Bellingham, Washington

“This glorious plant is the highlight of my garden in the spring. It increasingly bears many beautiful deep burgundy flowers, followed by feathery seed heads. I especially love its distinctive silvery fuzzy covering on its outer surfaces. My pasque flower thrives in its well-drained soil in partial shade. Little wonder that photographers are often inspired when they see this delicate beauty.”
-Lucille Todd, Plymouth, Minnesota

“The plant grows and flowers well here in my stiff clay soil and is a delight in early spring.”
-Jennifer Elizabeth Wingate, Richmond Hill, Ontario

“I have them in my flower bed and they are a lovely plant, purple crocus-like flowers in the spring and lovely fuzzy heads when finished.”
-BeLinda Wilson, Wellington, Colorado

Contest Rules

The winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries. The correct answer and winner will be announced on the following eLetter’s contest page. In the event there is no correct response, no prize will be awarded. The Taunton Press is not responsible for system breakdowns or lost emails.

This contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older. Employees, officers, and directors of The Taunton Press, its subsidiaries, affiliated companies, dealers, advertising and promotion agencies, their respective employees, officers, directors and agents, and those associated with the development, distribution or implementation of this Contest, their immediate families (including parents, in-laws, siblings, children or spouse, regardless of where they live) and members of the same household, whether related or not, are not eligible to participate. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Winners agree to allow The Taunton Press to use their name in conjunction with this contest and subsequent promotion.

The winner will receive a free one-year subscription to Fine Gardening magazine. If the winner is a current subscriber, a year will be added to his/her subscription term. The prize is non-transferable, and no cash substitutions will be made. The total value of this prize is $29.95. All taxes are the responsibility of the prize winner.


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