Russian Flower Names
Russia is a rugged country filled with an abundance of native flowers. Despite its often harsh weather conditions, many types of flowers flourish across the Russian landscape. Several of these flowers bloom in the late winter or early spring, filling otherwise barren winter scenery with bright splashes of color. Numerous varieties of indigenous Russian flowers are commonly found throughout the United States.
National Flower of Russia
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla, USDA zones 2-8), a member of the daisy family (Asteraceae), is the national flower of Russia. Chamomile flourishes quickly with minimal care and typically grows to between 10 to 12 inches in height. Beginning in the late spring and continuing into the summer, chamomile produces pretty flowers with delicate white petals surrounding a bright yellow center disk.
Chamomile grows well in full sun conditions and on sandy, well-draining soil. Known for its many medicinal purposes, chamomile is used to treat a variety of conditions, including stomach problems, depression and inflammation. It is also used in a variety of commercial products, including lotions, cosmetics and sunscreen. Chamomile is probably most popularly known as the key ingredient in chamomile tea.
Late Winter-Blooming Giant Snowdrop
The giant snowdrop (Galanthus woronowii, zones 3-9) is native to southern Russia. This showy white flower, which resembles a bell, begins to bloom in late winter. The appearance of the giant snowdrop is usually one of the first signs of the onset of spring, often pushing through a layer of snow. This plant thrives in full sun on moist, well-draining soil and grows up to 12 inches in height, unlike the common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis, zones 3-9) that reaches only 4 to 10 inches tall.
Medicinal but Toxic Arnica Root
Arnica root (Arnica montana, zones 4-9), also called leopard's-bane, grows in the wild in mountainous areas of southern Russia. This plant has a short blooming period, blossoming in July to produce bright yellow flowers, characteristic of other plants that are also member of the daisy family (Asteraceae). Arnica root grows best on moist, well-draining soil and can tolerate full or partial sun.
As a medicinal herb, arnica root has many applications and is used topically, as well as ingested. Even though it's been used for centuries in herbal medicine, the North Carolina State Extension notes that this plant is toxic, causing contact dermatitis, shortness of breath and vomiting.
Dainty Prairie Crocus
Prairie crocus (Pulsatilla patens, zones 3-8), also called pasque flower, is a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) that is commonly found throughout eastern Russia. Flourishing in hot, sunny locations, this plant is typically found in open woods and prairies. This early-blooming plant appears at the very beginning of spring, often before the frost has disappeared, producing lilac, six-petaled flowers with bright yellow centers.
Prairie crocus thrives in hot areas with full sun exposure and sandy soil. for maximum bloom potential, the University of Wisconsin-Madison recommends against heavy fertilization. Prairie crocus flowers open only on sunny days, and if the weather is cold or cloudy, they remain closed.