The SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) in Juniper Valley, Aston Upthorpe, is a dry chalk downland valley. It is the sole remaining native site for the Pasqueflower in Oxfordshire. Among the other special plants recorded here are Field Fleawort, Burnt Orchid and Catmint.
Did you know?
The Pasqueflower blooms in April, around Eastertime and for this reason, it is known as the 'anemone of Passiontide' and its common name 'pasque' derives from the word 'paschal' which means 'of Easter'.
Information from the Oxfordshire Flora Group
Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasqueflower) has been monitored for over 25 years by the Oxfordshire Flora Group. Because of a large population of rabbits in Juniper Valley who are fond of eating these flowers, a couple of fenced enclosures were created to protect them during the flowering and seed-setting seasons.
These flowers used to be plentiful at this site but in the mid-1990s there was a significant decline in numbers. In 1999 there were measures put in place to increase the population with young plants added to the enclosures. This site has a 66% survival rate.
- Classified as Vulnerable on the Vascular Plant Red Data List for Great Britain.
- Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.
- ·Listed as Near Threatened on the global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
When to see
Legend has it that Pasqueflowers sprang up in places that had been soaked by the blood of Romans or Danes because they often appeared on old barrows and boundary banks.