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Prairie crocus (Anemone patens)
Also known as: prairie anemone, pasque flower
General: These beautiful wildflowers arise from woody roots and often form colonies.
Leaves & Twigs: Basal leaves are grey-green in colour, and divided into narrow lobes. The basal leaves appear after the flower fades.
Flowers & Fruit: Each flower is 4 cm in diameter, with five-to-seven, pale blue to purple, petal-like sepals. When folded, the outer surface of the sepals appear covered in white woolly hairs. The flowers are open during the day but close at night. After the flower fades and the sepals fall off, a shaggy cluster of seeds develops.
Habitat: Grows in prairies and in dry, open woods. Prefers sandy soil and sunny areas.
Sampling: Select a typical patch of plants, if the plants are very abundant, mark off a 1-metre-square section to observe.