Winter Aconite
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Eranthis hyemalis or the winter aconite is a spring flower belonging to the tuberous origin which is also a type of bulbous plant. It also regarded as minor bulbs. It belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. It is native to southern France to Bulgaria. Winter aconite is the early blooming plant.It is wonderfully shaped in cup structure. It grows during the month of February and March. The yellow or butter colored flowers attracts a great range of the insects supporting the pollination process. Despite being a plant of only 8cm in height, it is not a fussy plant. It grows well under the deciduous trees, grasses or shrubs. It spreads up to 5cm and has a bulb size of about ¾.  It grows under the temperature of full sunlight to semi shade. March to April is the bloom time of this plant. It produces bright yellow bloom. They serve as a good help for ground cover, wildlife gardens, woodland gardens and also for the low maintenance gardens. They are the first to bloom after the winter gets over, in other words they welcome the spring days.

Few of the species:

Eranthis hyemalis

Eranthis pinnatidifida

Eranthis hyemalirans

Eranthis tubergennii

Flowers: The bloom of the winter aconite appears with the start of the spring months. It appears in bright yellow in the shape of buttercups. The bloom appears about 3 inches above the ground. The grown bloom will fade away within few days time and will get replaced by the newly growing bloom. 

Tubers: The tubers of the winter aconite have a valuable role to play in the plants growth for it helps store moisture and food that helps in the growth and also for the hibernation process. The best time to plant the tuber is in the month of October so as to the bloom during the month of February and March.

Plantation: Here are few tips that you need to keep in mind when planting the winter aconite-

The best time to start planting the winter aconite is in the autumn, make sure that the tubers are 2 to 3 inches deeper in the soil.

Keep a spacing of around 9inches so that the plant gets to grow freely.

It is possible to plant this plant from a seed too.

Care: The winter aconite needs to be planted during the late fall months. We need to take good care of this plant. For example: we need to protect the plant from the dreadful winter conditions. One of the best ways of protecting this plant is by planting the tuber about 5inches deep into the soil. It is wisely suggested that we plant this plant about 6inches apart in order to create enough space for the plant to breathe easily and also to help them spread freely. Taking care of the winter aconite is not a tiresome task; all that we need to be mindful of is that we need to plant it on a fertile as well as a well drained soil. Make sure to make the soil rich with fertilizer or a compost manure during the time of first plantation.  With this, the plant will multiply year after year. The plant needs care during the summer months; we need to keep the plant moist by watering the plant.

It is advised that we leave the plant undisturbed even after the bloom has withered away. The best time to cut this plant is when the leaves have completely browned.

Problems: Slugs can be a problem to this early spring plant. The foliages get affected by fungus too.

Use: The winter aconite has some medicinal uses. It is used in homeopathic medicine.

Caution: Consuming this plant may turn poisonous in case of mild stomach problems or it may even lead to skin allergy to some skin types.

The bright yellow bloom adds more to the upcoming beautiful spring air. Thus, the plant added to the border fronts, walkways, rock gardens, or even under the tree looks wonderful. This early spring bloom is an indication to the upcoming spring months.

Summary: The botanical name to the winter aconite is Eranthis cilicica. It falls in the category of perennial plant. It is an early spring bloom requiring full sun to partial sunlight. It has a bright gold bloom. The bloom appears in the shape of butter cup. It has a height of 3 to 4 inches and spreads about 2 to 3 inches. It is good to plant this plant 3 inches deep into the soil with fertilizer, compost manure keeping in mind that the soil is well drained.

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