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Eranthis hyemalis

Eranthis hyemalis

Eranthis hyemalis can be found in many locations throughout the garden, adding splashes of bright yellow to areas including the Winter Garden, the Rock Gully and Lady Anne's Arboretum.

Vital statistics

Common name
Winter aconite
Family
Ranunculaceae
Height & spread
Up to 10cm (4in) x 10cm (4in)
Form
Tuberous perennial
Soil
Moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained, best in alkaline soil
Aspect
Full sun or partial shade
Hardiness
Hardy throughout the British Isles

Eranthis

Eranthis are small tuberous perennials with cup-shaped flowers held above a collar of deeply lobed leaves. There are about 7 species of clump-forming perennials with knobbly tubers that live in damp woodland and shady places in Europe.

Most species do well when grown around deciduous shrubs or trees where the soil is damp and leafy, and their cup-shaped flowers and green ruffs form pretty, low-growing displays in late winter or early spring.
The name Eranthis is from the Greek "er" meaning spring, and "anthos" meaning flower, as this is one of the earliest flowers to bloom.

Eranthis hyemalis

E. hyemalis is a perennial to 10cm in height, with cup-shaped, bright yellow flowers 3cm in width from late winter, surrounded by divided leafy bracts. Basal leaves are rich green, divided into several lobes.
It can quickly form large colonies, especially in its preferred alkaline soil.
The species name hyemalis means "of winter, flowering in winter".

Cultivation

  • Grow in a humus-rich, moderately fertile soil that doesn't dry out. Tolerates most soil types but does best in alkaline soils
  • Generally free from pests but may be affected by a smut

Propagation

AGM

The RHS Rock Garden Trials Subcommittee awarded Eranthis hyemalis an Award of Garden Merit and described it as:

'Tuberous-rooted perennial to 10cm tall, with cup-shaped bright yellow flowers 3cm wide, surrounded by divided leafy bracts. Basal leaves rich green, divided into several lobes.'

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