Virtues: We love winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) for its cheerful yellow flowers that appear in late winter or earliest spring. Deer resistant.
Common name: Winter aconite
Botanical name: Eranthis hyemalis
Flowers: Bright yellow cup-shaped flowers appear in late winter or early spring. A “jester’s collar” of green bracts surround the base of each flower.
Foliage: Green leaves appear at ground level after the flowers fade. Leaves fade by late spring, when the bulb goes dormant.
Habit: Bulb. Individual plants grow 3 to 6 inches tall and wide.
Origin: Native to southern Europe.
Cultivation: Grow in full sun or part shade. Does well under deciduous trees and shrubs that provide it full sun in winter and dappled shade in summer. Prefers humus-rich soils with medium moisture and good drainage. Unlike some other bulbs, such as tulips, winter aconite prefers/tolerates some moisture year-round, even when dormant in summer and fall (though not as much water is needed at those times). For best results, soak the bulbs overnight before planting them. In good conditions, winter aconite will form large colonies, spreading by seed. USDA Zones 4–7.
Image credit: Martin Olsson. Rights.
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