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Eranthis hyemalis

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Helleborus hyemalis
Phonetic Spelling
er-AN-thiss hy-eh-MAY-liss
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Winter aconite is a low maintenance perennial tuber native to Europe in the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family. Its showy bright yellow butter-cup blooms appear in late winter to very early spring and excellent for long, winter blooming display. The name comes from the Greek 'helein'= to injure and 'bora'= food.   

When it blooms in the late winter to early spring it requires full sun and as the weather warms up it prefers partial to full shade.  Planting it under deciduous trees provides this type of shade change as the seasons progress.  The soil must be rich in organic material, neutral pH, and well drained.  This bulb is intolerant of bright winter sun and high temperatures.  Plant tubers 1 in. apart, 60-100 per sq. ft., burying it 5 in. to the base of the tuber.  This plant is injured below 5 degrees F (-15 degrees C).  It tolerates drought, but make sure to keep the soil moist during the growing season.  To propagate this plant direct sow seeds in the fall or wait until it is done flowering and divide the clumps. 

Numerous hybrid selections and species are available but are often difficult to distinguish and are misidentified in trade, or mislabeled lenten rose, a name historically associated with H. orientalis

This delightful yellow flower will add a splash of color rock gardens, beds, and woodland gardens. Utilize it for borders or patios in protected, shady locations or let it naturalize in the landscape.  It is resistant to browsing by deer and can be planted near a black walnut tree.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Flowers nodding, petaloid sepals
  • Short plant with stiff, large, evergreen leaves 
  • Leaves are palmately divided into many leaflets
  • Flower center of numerous stamens outlined by tubular nectaries, or fleshy, beaked capsules

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Fungal diseases are occasional problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#poisonous#yellow flowers#low maintenance#winter interest#mass planting#rock garden#bedding plants#pollinator plant#naturalized area#fantz#early spring flowers#border front#understory planting#walkway planting#patio planting#HS302#late winter flowers#bee friendly#flowering bulb
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#poisonous#yellow flowers#low maintenance#winter interest#mass planting#rock garden#bedding plants#pollinator plant#naturalized area#fantz#early spring flowers#border front#understory planting#walkway planting#patio planting#HS302#late winter flowers#bee friendly#flowering bulb
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Eranthis
    Species:
    hyemalis
    Family:
    Ranunculaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia Minor and Europe
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees are attracted to the nectar and pollen in the flowers.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 5 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 5 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Clustered, green, fleshy capsules, long-beaked, surrounded by persistent sepals.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Blooms in late winter to early spring, on 3 to 4 inch tall stalks from February to March. A stalked cyme or panicle, terminal, often nodding. The green bracts form a collar surrounding the flowers are gigantic, leaf-like, dark green, entire to sparsely toothed, +/- lobed. 3-4" diameter; 6 petals, showy, pigmented, broadly ovate-elliptic; inner petal segments numerous, consisting of tubular nectaries, green to greenish-yellow, ephemeral; stamens numerous, anther yellow.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Basal or cauline, palmately compound, coriaceous, glabrous. The petioles that flank the flowers look like leaves are elongate, peltate; leaflets 3-9, irregularly toothed or serrate.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stout, rhizomatous or exposed red brown erect.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Rock Wall
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Drought
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN! Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, disturbed vision, shortness of breath, irregular pulse, and potential cardiac arrest.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Cardiac glycosides of the bufadienolide group
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems