the sunniest of bulbs: eranthis hyemalis

eranthis-with-honeybeeI AM ALWAYS RELIEVED TO SEE THE WINTER ACONITE, Eranthis hyemalis, welcome the honeybees in early spring; happy for both of these harbingers to be with me once again. The sunny-yellow Eranthis flowers (like the gradually opening hellebores nearby, with their even-larger nectaries) are real bee magnets. This little bulb (it’s technically a tuber) can be “hard to establish” but is well worth coaxing into a state of cooperation, as I seem to have finally done in a widening self-sown drift. Read more about how in my post from one year ago this week, updated with new photos.

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March 29, 2009

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  1. Deirdre says

    I had tried twice, at two different houses, to grow winter aconites without success. I figured I’d give it one more try at this, my third house. After all, this is the first house I’ve had with well draining soil instead of clay. I bought 100 tubers for $10 from Colorblends. THEY CAME UP! I’m so happy. A hundred sounds like a lot, but spread out in the garden it’s really not. Now, if they’ll just spread themselves around so I can sheets of them like in the photographs, I’ll be very pleased..

  2. Helen says

    Margaret, are you familiar with British author Beverley Nichols? If not, you must read him. He is brilliantly acerbic and opinionated about all things garden, yet when he loved a plant, he loved it. Here is what he had to say about winter aconite:

    Of all the winter flowers I know none is braver nor more trustworthy than the winter aconite. You simply cannot keep it down. I believe that if you asked it it would come up on an iceberg. In fact, in my garden, it almost did, because once I planted some aconites under a tree and very shortly afterwards the ground was flooded. Then a frost came along, and the ice remained under the tree for weeks. And in spite of this, the aconites came up and actually had the impudence to flower under the ice.

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