Eranthis hyemalis

16 Feb

Eranthis hyemalis detail (13/02/2011, London)

Eranthis hyemalis detail (13/02/2011, London)

Position: Partial shade but will tolerate full sun and full shade

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Late winter to early spring

Eventual Height: 10cm

Eventual Spread: 10cm

Hardiness: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Ranunculaceae

Eranthis hyemalis is a clump forming tuber that bears stalk-less cup shaped yellow flowers in late winter. Its yellow flowers, although much larger, are similar in appearance to the buttercup with which it shares the family Ranunculaceae

Eranthis hyemalis, commonly know as Winter Aconite or False Aconite, is native to southern Europe. The tuber is poisonous and is harmful to humans. This perennial can quickly form large colonies through self seeding

The etymological root of the binomial name Eranthis is derived from the Greek er meaning ‘spring’ and anthos meaning ‘flower’. Hyemalis is derived from the Latin meaning ‘pertaining to winter’.

Eranthis hyemalis detail (13/02/2011, London)

Eranthis hyemalis detail (13/02/2011, London)

Eranthis hyemalis is useful to the landscape architect as an extremely early flowering tuberous perennial and forms a dense ground cover during the winter and spring months. As the leaves die down after spring it is advisable that this plant is pat of a mixed groundcover planting scheme or as a winter feature in bed planting.

Ecologically, Eranthis hyemalis is a valuable source of nectar in winter.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given Eranthis hyemalis their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Eranthis hyemalis prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Care should be taken to prevent Eranthis hyemalis  from spreading voraciously but will require no care once established if well contained. To increase numbers this plant can be divided in April or May while the plant is still in leaf.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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