Eranthis hyemalis

Winter Aconite

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A herald of early spring, winter aconite's beautiful yellow blooms are borne over a mound of rich green foliage. A member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), Eranthis hyemalis is one of the earliest spring-flowering bulbs to bloom—and also among the smallest. Because these bulbs grow closer to the soil's surface, it takes only a few sunny days or thawing rains to warm the soil and signal to dormant bulbs that it's time to start growing. Cold winters typical of the plant's native European woodland origin, and cooler, humus-rich soil often bring the best show of flowers for the aconite.

There is, however, a dark side to these show-stopping beauties: the entire plant is quite poisonous and may cause nausea, vomiting, colic attacks, and visual disturbances. Don't let this information compel you to remove them from your yard, though. The aconite's bitter taste makes it unlikely that a pet will fall victim to the plant through curious nibbling.

Plant Shape
Full Sun, Partial Shade
Bloom Time
January - February, March - April
Bloom Color
Landscape Use
Bedding or Border, Groundcover, Understory
Wildlife Interest
Attracts Butterflies, Resistant To Deer
Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
3 - 7