Last updated on December 7th, 2011
WHO CAN RESIST Eranthis hyemalis? Not me. Long before the earliest crocus appears, the little-known winter aconites offer a great patch of buttery bloom to brighten dreary late-winter days. Visitors here are charmed by it, yet it is neither rare nor difficult, and it seeds and spreads mightily.
Winter aconites grow from tubers; set these out as soon as you get them late in August or early September. And please, not less than 25 tubers; in fact, 50 will please you even more. If the tubers appear the least bit shriveled, soak them overnight before planting 2 inches deep and 3 inches apart. Keep them well watered the first autumn, thereafter you need not bother.
Near the porch, in a rock garden with a southern slope, in a woodland, or carpeting your shrub border, aconites will delight you. They prefer shade as they ripen, and fortunately the foliage disappears after bloom (if only this were true of daffodils and tulips).
I probably sound like an Eranthis salesperson, but I can’t help it. These golden cups that open above green, Elizabethan-like collars send me over the moon. How about you?
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