How To Grow Eranthis or Winter Aconite In The Spring Flower Garden

Growing Eranthis in the shady garden means getting the soil right. This bulb is a member of the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family of plants and is more commonly known as Winter aconite.

And just so you know, the name eranthis comes from the Greek meaning "spring flower"

How to Grow

This plant is a woodland bulb so success with growing eranthis will come if you mimic a woodland soil. That is give this plant a loose, open, fertile and well-drained soil. In other words, give it great soil. A soil that dries out quickly in the summer time is not a great way to succeed with this plant but it does require well drained winter soils (no standing water).

How to Plant

The tuber is very much like a small pea and irregularly shaped (there is no top or bottom to worry about).

Some gardeners like to soak the tuber in warm water for 12-24 hours before planting as they believe this makes them grow better.

Plant in late September approximately one to one and a half inches deep and 2-3 inches apart.


Eranthis winter aconite


This is one of the very early bulbs in the garden often flowering at the same time as the snow is melting.

Strongly growing Eranthis resemble buttercups with short stems and will open when the sun shines but close if a cloud covers the sun (and in the evening).

Eranthis cilicica

This winter aconite is found in Turkey and is one of the two main species sold in garden shops. Its bright yellow blooms are a welcome sight in very early spring.

The flowers reach to 3-5 inches tall and it thrives in woodland soils in full to part shade. Plant it under deciduous shrubs for a great show of spring bloom and then the shrub will protect the tender leaves later in the summer.

The flowers on this species are somewhat larger than the following species and the leaves are finer and bronze-green in color.

Book cover spring bulbs

Eranthis hyemalis

This is another bright yellow buttercup flower with a height of 3-5 inches. Grow this in sun or part shade as well.

The major difference between the two is that the leaves of this plant are somewhat larger, the flowers are a lemon-yellow (not a bright yellow) and this plant blooms slightly ahead of the E. silicica.

eranthis naturalized

Naturalizing Eranthis

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