Pulsatilla vulgaris

Oxfordshire Flora Group


Pulsatilla vulgaris, Pasqueflower

Pulsatilla vulgaris has a native site in Oxfordhire at Aston Upthorpe Downs. The OFG (previously as the RPG) has monitored this plant for 25 years. At this site, rabbits often eat the plants and so an exclosure was created to protect them during the flowering and seed-setting seasons. Once seed has set, then the exclosure is opened in order for the rabbits to graze and remove competing vegetation. Some original plants do survive outside the exclosure.

Pulsatilla vulgaris, Pasqueflower, Aston Upthorpe. Photo by Frances Watkins

Pulsatilla vulgaris used to be plentiful at this site but in the mid-1990s this was no longer the case. Thus measures were put in place to bulk up the population. Seed was collected and germinated and in 1999 young plants were put into the exclosure. By 2019, there was a 46% survival rate for these plants. Since then, in 2015, there was another reintroduction in a different area necessitating another exclosure. This site has a 66% survival rate.

2019 was not a good year for flowering of Pasqueflower but it is hoped that in future it will be good enough to raise plants for an introduction at a neighbouring location.

Additionally, there is an introduction at the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust reserve at Hartslock. The plant was introduced here in 1998 using seed from Bedfordshire and the survival rate here (where rabbit grazing is not a problem) is around 70%.