Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Winter Aconite
Eranthis hyemalis

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Eranthis (eer-RAN-this) (Info)
Species: hyemalis (hy-EH-may-liss) (Info)

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11 members have or want this plant for trade.

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under 6 in. (15 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
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:
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 26 photos.
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3 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Clary On Feb 16, 2012, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This variety of eranthis is leafier with more lemon-colored flowers than the cilicica variety.

Positive whitesam9 On Feb 27, 2011, whitesam9 from Dayton, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is one of the earliest flowers to bloom - even before crocus and snowdrops. I look forward to the bright yellow little blossoms every year. They mean Spring is on the way.

Positive bluespiral On Mar 3, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

Anything that blooms in the wake of receding sheets of ice and snow around here is very much welcome. Following are heavily quoted & paraphrased germination instructions from Norman C. Deno's Seed Germination Theory and Practice, 2nd edition:

The best way to propagate this plant from seed is to direct sow the seed as soon as it is fresh where it is intended to grow, because:

Seed dry stored either at 40*F or 70*F is dead (as is all commercially distributed seed under current practices).

Seed should be stored and/or distributed in moist paper towels either at 40*F or at 70*F, if at all.

Alternative to direct sowing, "...seeds are placed in moist paper towels at 70*F as soon as they are ripe in May. After 3 months at 70*F, the seeds are shifted to to 40*F [and]...after [exactly 55 days from being shifted to 40*F,]...germination begins...[and] is...90% complete in four days."

Neutral Leehallfae On Nov 9, 2006, Leehallfae from Seattle, WA wrote:

I love the Winter Aconite. It's pretty and cheerful, and is literally an early flower.

Positive nevadagdn On Feb 28, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I don't care how invasive this plant becomes. I'm just glad to have anything blooming this time of year. I'm hoping it colonizes my small patch of lawn.

Negative garyon On Apr 27, 2004, garyon from Syracuse, NY wrote:

If it were not for its early blooming season, I would eradicate this from our garden. It is extremely agressive and has spread into large colonies in just a few years.

I plan to weed out much of it each year after it blooms to reduce seed production in an attempt to control its spread. Seeds appear to germinate readily, increasing the size of the colony.

Neutral killerdaisy On Aug 8, 2001, killerdaisy from Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Best in large groups, due to ground-hugging nature of foliage and blossoms.


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

Clifton, Colorado
Winnetka, Illinois
Crown Point, Indiana
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Ellicott City, Maryland
Pinconning, Michigan
Presque Isle, Michigan
Sparks, Nevada
Lakewood, Ohio
Marysville, Ohio
Barto, Pennsylvania
Erie, Pennsylvania
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Lititz, Pennsylvania
New Hope, Pennsylvania
Wayne, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Arlington, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Seattle, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin

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