Eranthis hyemalis - Winter Aconite

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Ranunculales - Family: Ranunculaceae

Winter Aconite, Eranthis hyemalis

Above: A beautiful harbinger of spring - Winter Aconites in Wales, UK

A popular garden plant, Winter Aconite has long been naturalised in Britain and Ireland. In the 'wild' this lovely wildflower favours calcareous soils and light deciduous woodland.

Winter Aconite, Eranthis hyemalis, west Wales UK

Identification

Winter Aconote produces cup-shaped, upward-facing yellow flowers on short stalks, often emerging from leaf litter. Flowers are typically 3cm across and each is subtended by a collar of leaf-like bracts.

Winter Aconites, Surrey

Above: Winter Aconites in Surrey, England

Blooming Times

Eranthis hyemalis is one of the first flowers to bloom in early springtime, often appearing alongside snowdrops on woodland edges.

Distribution

Winter Aconite is native to south-east Frace, Italy and the Balkans.

Etymology

The genus name Eranthis comes from the Greek Er meaning spring and anthis meaning flower. The specific epithet hyemalis means 'of winter'.

The Winter Aconite specimens shown on this page were photographed in Surrey and in Carmarthenshire, UK.