Prairie wildflower season has officially begun. Pasqueflower (Anemone patens) is the earliest blooming flower on the prairie. These were just photographed at Kasota Prairie today, and the pasqueflowers near the rock outcrop prairie overlook site in the Arboretum will soon be following suit. The name means “Easter flower” and these plants usually flower in late March or early April, but our unusually late spring has shifted the blooming time significantly. You tend to find pasqueflowers in dry, gravelly or rocky, shortgrass areas of native prairies. As the very first flower of the prairie spring, the pasqueflower has held great significance for many people over the years. The Dakota people reportedly sang a song about the pasqueflower that encouraged the other flowers to follow in their blooming. As with all native prairie plants, please follow the example of other nature lovers and do not pick these flowers, so that they can produce seed.