Grow Eranthis or Winter Aconites

An early yellow flower grown under deciduous trees.

Aconites

Grow Winter Aconites

  • The tuberous Winter Aconite or Eranthis likes a loose, well-drained chalky soil but will naturalise in a lawn or under a deciduous tree.
  • In the wild these do exactly what bulbs are supposed to do – grow, flower and seed while light penetrates the bare branches of the trees above them.
  • The knobbly tubers need to be planted 2” deep. The tubers can be divided after flowering every few  years and transplanted ‘in the green’ . They dry out very easily, generally   dislike being moved and are best left to their own devices.
  • Winter aconite does well in containers as long as they get water and winter sunshine.
  • Winter aconites grow to 3-4 inches high and have upturned yellow cup shaped flowers around 1 inch across. The flowers sit stalkless on a ruff of bright green leaves and they can flower for up to six weeks.
  • They do particularly well in chalky soil. Good drainage is essential.
  • Some gardeners dislike aconites for the messy mass of foliage but allow the leaves die down and the plant will be dormant and hidden until next winter.

  • March 2 Winter Aconites

    Eranthis Species

    • Eranthis hyemalis, comes from the deciduous woodlands of the Balkans, Italy and southern France. ‘Orange Glow’ and Schwefelglanz are hybrids to look out for.
    • Eranthis cilicus, from Turkey, Kurdistan, Iran and Afghanistanhas flowers that are larger and leaves that are finer
    • Eranthis x tubergenii Guinea Gold is less particular about its soil and is more vigorous and has delightful fragrant golden yellow blooms with bronzy green foliage, however it is only half-hardy.
    • Eranthis ‘Flore Pleno’ is a double that is good in the rockery or shady border but will not set seed.
    • Eranthis pinnatifida is a native of Japan where it is found in mountain woods. It has small white flowers a delight to grow.

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