Although there is a great preponderance of white spring flowers (highlighted in the previous post), there are some bright spots of color appearing in the landscape now as well.
Crocus are the real harbingers of spring, as they poke right up through late-melting snow and tolerate an occasional spring snowfall, often the first spot of color in the drab landscape.
Pasque flowers, also called prairie crocus or Easter flower, are one of the earliest spring bloomers. They are the state flower of South Dakota and the provincial flower of Manitoba, but Pulsatilla species can be found throughout Europe, Asia, as well as North America. Like most cold climate plants, they grow close to the ground and are covered with downy, insulative hairs.
Pretty to look at, but noxious when eaten, as early herbalists learned. This plant has a suite of cardiogenic toxins that can produce cardiovascular shock and coma. However, Blackfeet Indian women used extracts of the plant to induce abortions or childbirth.