Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Harbinger of Spring, Pepper and Salt
Erigenia bulbosa

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Erigenia (er-ih-JEE-nee-a) (Info)
Species: bulbosa (bul-BOH-suh) (Info)

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


Unknown - Tell us

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By DiOhio
Thumbnail #1 of Erigenia bulbosa by DiOhio


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Sherlock_Holmes On Oct 5, 2006, Sherlock_Holmes from Millersburg, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

"Wildflowers of Pennsylvania" by Mary Joy Haywood, RSM, PH.D. and Phyllis Testal Monk, M. Ed. says this about Harbinger of Spring.

"One of the earliest spring flowers, the name is from the Greek for "born in the spring." The clusters of tiny white flowers have reddish stamens. The plant grows from 4 to 9 inches tall and has one or two finely divided leaves. The plant grows as a perennial from a rounded tuber in the rich soil of woodlands."

Various books on Edible Wild Plants state that the small, bulb-like root is edible as a nibble or a cooked vegetable. However, this plant is neither widely distributed nor abundant and may be protected in the region in which you live. I would not advise the gathering of this wildflower for food.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Glouster, Ohio

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