General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 3 - 4 inches
Plant Spread: 3 - 6 inches
Leaves: Deciduous
Spring ephemeral
Other: A single palmate leaf in young plants, or a leaf whorl underneath the flower in mature plants.
Fruit: Other: Cluster of follicles (pods); when ripe, they dry and split on one side to release tan seeds
Fruiting Time: Spring
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Underground structures: Rhizome
Tuber
Uses: Provides winter interest
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Tolerates dry shade
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: Requires a warm moist and cold moist period for germination. Will germinate the next spring after ripening if sown outdoors.
Sow in situ
Other info: Seed will die if it dries out. Sow immediately after it ripens, and keep moist.
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Offsets
Bulbs
Other: Best planted in fall
Pollinators: Self
Miscellaneous: Goes Dormant
Awards and Recognitions: Other: 2015 Great Plant Picks award winner

Image
Common names
  • Winter Aconite
  • Winter Hellebore
  • Winter Wolf's Bane
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Eranthis hyemalis
  • Synonym: Eranthis cilicica
  • Synonym: Eranthis x tubergenii

Photo Gallery
Location: Willow Valley Communities, Willow Street, Pennsylvania
Date: 2023-02-23
Location: Lancaster PA 
Date: 2024-02-17
Location: Willow Valley Communities, Willow Street, Pennsylvania
Date: 2023-02-23
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2-23-2020
Location: My garden, Skåne, Sweden
Location: Western Washington
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Date: 2023-04-07
Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis).
Location: My garden, Gent, Belgium
Date: 2014-02-23
Location: Albuquerque, NM Zone 7b
Date: 02.03.2021
First one up in the rock garden
Location: In my garden, Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens, South Amana, IA
Date: 2009-04-04
Location: My garden in N E Pa. 
Date: 2014-03-11
Location: My garden in Albuquerque, NM Zone 7b
Date: 04.11.21
Location: Kettering, England
Date: 2009-02-25
Location: February 2023 | Meadowlark Botanical Garden (VA)
Date: 2023-02-20
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2019-03-01
Location: Albuquerque, NM Zone 7b
Date: 02.13.2021
Just popping through pea gravel
Location: Fairfax, VA
Location: Photo by Carol Bacskai; zone 5b, Yorkville, IL
Date: 2021-03-21
Location: Howick Hall garden, Northumberland, UK
Date: 2012-02-23
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2019-02-25
Location: Fairfax, VA
Location: Fairfax, VA
Location: Fairfax, VA
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2019-03-01
green surrounding yellow flower
Location: My garden in Kentucky
Date: 2015-03-12

Date: 2012-03-11
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015 04-09
Location: Garden
Date: 2015-03-03
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2016-03-08
Location: Howick Hall garden, Northumberland, UK
Date: 2014-02-22
A very valuable plant for early bees
Location: Iowa
Location: Chicago
Date: 2020-03-12
Location: The photographer's garden.
Date: April 2011
Image by Spencer C. H. Barrett, University of Toronto
Location: Neighbor''s garden, Pequea, Pennsylvania 17565
Date: 2017-02-07
Location: Tawas Michigan under the Pines
Location: Tawas Michigan under the Pines

Date: 2011-03-14
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
Date: 2009-02-16
Location: Pequea, Pennsylvania USA
Date: 2018-03-18
Location: IJAMS  Knoxville Tennessee
Date: February
These sweet yellow flowers bring joy in some of winter's coldest

Date: c. 1787
illustration [as Helleborus hyemalis] from 'The Botanical Magazin
Location: My garden, Gent, Belgium
Date: 2014-03-08
Location: My garden, Gent, Belgium
Date: 2014-04-02
Location: My garden in Kentucky
Date: 2015-04-25
Photo by robertduval14

Date: 2012-02-16
Photo courtesy of: Colin-47
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2018-03-02
Location: Nationale Plantentuin Meise (Brussels)
Date: 2018-01-24
Location: Hortus Botanicus Leiden
Date: 2022-03-26

credit: Nino Barbieri

photo credit:  Dominicus Johannes Bergsma
Location: My garden in Kentucky
Date: 2015-03-12
Location: My garden, Gent, Belgium
Date: 2014-03-08
Location: Garden
Date: Winter 2017
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2016-03-08
First bloom
Location: Brownstown Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-04-24
Location: My garden in Kentucky
Date: 2015-03-31
Location: Cincinnati Nature Center, Perintown,OH
Date: 2013-03-10
Drift of naturalized plants.
Location: Cincinnati Nature Center, Perintown,OH
Date: 2013-03-10
Location: my brother's garden, Belgium
Date: 2007-03-10
Location: St Louis
Date: 2015-03-22

Courtesy Crownsville Nursery
  • Uploaded by vic

Courtesy Crownsville Nursery
  • Uploaded by vic
Location: My garden in N E Pa. 
Date: 2015-03-22

Date: 2013-02-11
Photo courtesy of: Dominicus Johannes Bergsma
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2017-02-28

photo by ghislain118
Location: My garden in Kentucky
Date: 2015-03-12
Location: My garden in Kentucky
Date: 2015-03-12
Location: Maryland
Date: 2014-03-28

Date: 2012-03-08
Comments:
  • Posted by Cyclaminist (Minneapolis, Minnesota - Zone 5a) on Apr 28, 2016 12:45 AM concerning plant:
    One of the earliest flowers to bloom: here, usually in late March or early April, much earlier than any spring ephemerals native to Minnesota. So wonderful to see the golden flowers against the dreary gray and brown carpet of fallen leaves and twigs. So far I have three clumps and many immature plants under a hazel bush. They grow and go dormant before the bush develops its leaves. First a flower above a whorl of small bronze leaves. Then the flowers wither and the leaves expand and get greener while the seed ripens. Finally, the capsules dry and split open to reveal hard brown seeds, and the leaves go dormant for the summer.
  • Posted by Henryr10 (Cincinnati, Oh) on Mar 11, 2013 11:26 AM concerning plant:
    These have naturalized at the CNC and some drifts are 40' across.
  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Jan 25, 2012 2:56 PM concerning plant:
    Valuable source of nectar and pollen if warm enough for honey bees to be out while in bloom
  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Jan 25, 2012 3:18 PM concerning plant:
    Valuable source of nectar and pollen if warm enough for honey bees to be out
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