Eranthis Species, Winter Aconite, Winter Hellebore, Winter Wolf's Bane

Eranthis hyemalis

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Eranthis (eer-RAN-this) (Info)
Species: hyemalis (hy-EH-may-liss) (Info)
Synonym:Eranthis cilicicus
Synonym:Helleborus hyemalis
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

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

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Medium Green


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Seed is poisonous if ingested

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

From seed; direct sow after last frost

From bulbils

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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 Freedom, Pennsylvania

New Hope, Pennsylvania

Wayne, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Arlington, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Seattle, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

Madison, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 21, 2017, GrampaG from Williamsport, MD wrote:

I don't have any yet but they have been in full bloom in my next door neighbor's yard. I first noticed them about Feb. 10 and I live in zone 6b.


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

This variety of eranthis has bronze foliage when young. The leaves are less pronounced and more succulent than the hyemalis variety. The flowers are a deep clear yellow.


On Feb 7, 2012, wefarmasmidgen from Deer Lodge, MT (Zone 3b) wrote:

I planted these about 5 years ago in my lawn. Every year, early spring, they come up with their cheerful, bright yellow flowers. They haven't spread much, but they are increasing a little bit each year.


On Feb 6, 2012, oldkate from Hillsboro, OH wrote:

Your problem may be due to a heavy covering of mulch and/or too many of last fall's left-over tree leaves on the aconites. They sprout rather like a soybean - sort of curling up. Snowdrops and daffodils have no trouble coming out of the ground, as the leaves are pointed on the end. Aconites like to be cool in the hot summers, too. Be sure to let them die down naturally after blooming - plants will spread from the roots, but mostly from their seeds. I think the main thing is not to let the aconites smother.
You can't have enough aconites!


On Jan 8, 2012, veggieflowers from Columbia, MO wrote:

I love these early blooming little flowers, but over time they seem to be disappearing instead of multiplying. I wonder if I'm doing something wrong


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.


On Mar 13, 2007, crabbybill from South Bend, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

These cheerful yellow flowers remind us that the garden will be soon be awake to welcome the new season.
We first saw this very early blooming bulb at our local botanic garden - Fernwood, Niles, MI after we finished a Master Gardener Training class back in 1998. There must have been a million of these little, single yellow flowers.
It's the first sign that Winter is leaving. We seen them trying to come up through the snow.They come back each season, we scatter the seeds. In at least two years they bloom.
The unusual foliage dies down by mid-June at the latest. The rabbits and squirrels leave them alone in our area.


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 s... read more


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.


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.


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.


On Jun 27, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Foliage is bronze-green when new, turning more green as it matures.


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

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