Pasque Flowers are better known as Prairie Crocus, are part of the Anemone family. They can be found all over Alberta from the sand dunes and dry grasslands to pine forests. Often, the Crocus is seen as a sea of purple on a prairie hillside and open pasture land. This one was spotted high on the summit of Hwy 532 west of the Cowboy Trail.
Interesting notes found in the book Plants of Alberta – The prairie crocus is called the “ears of the earth” because it seems to spring through the snow to listen for the approach of summer.
Legend also tells of the Great Spirit giving this delicate plant a fur coat to keep it warm through the cold winter nights.”
Further research in the book Edible & Medicinal Plants of Canada, describes the crocus as being a plant that “all parts are poisonous if taken internally and can be very irritating if applied to the skin”.
Pretty to look at, but you may want to consider just leaving it where you find it.