This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial scapose herbs, with thick rootstocks, basal long-petioled digitately divided leaves, and large purple or white solitary flowers. Involucre remote from the flower, 3-leaved. Sepals petaloid. Petals none. Inner stamens anther-bearing, the outer ones often sterile. Achenes with long persistent plumose styles. [Latin name, unexplained.]
About 18 species, natives of the north temperate and subarctic zones. Besides the following, another occurs in northwestern North America. Type species: Anemone Pulsatilla L.
Anemone patens L. Sp. Pl. 538. 1753. P. patens Mill. Gard. Dict. Ed. 8, No. 4. 1768. ?Clematis hirsutissima Pursh. Fl. Am. Sept. 385. 1814. Anemone Nuttalliana DC. Syst. 1: 193. 1818. Anemone patens var. Nuttalliana A. Gray, Man. Ed. 5, 36. 1867. P. hirsutissima Britton, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 6: 217.
Villous, 6'-16' high. Leaves much divided into narrow linear acute lobes, the basal on slender petioles, those of the involucre sessile and erect or ascending; sepals ovate-oblong, light bluish-purple; fruit a head of silky achenes with long plumose styles, like those of some Clematis.
In dry soil, prairies of Illinois to British Columbia, Nebraska and Texas. Europe and northern Asia. After flowering the peduncle elongates, sometimes to a foot or more. Consists of several races, the American ones mostly with wider leaf-lobes than the European. March-April. American Pulsatilla. Hartshorn- or head-ache-plant. Wild crocus. Mayflower. Easter-flower. Gosling. Badger. April-fools. Prairie-smoke or -anemone. Wind-flower. Rock-lily.