Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Plant of the month for March

Eranthis hyemalis (Winter aconite)

Family: Ranunculaceae
Origin: Eurasia
Accession: 1975
Location: Native plants

Eranthis hyemalis is native to damp woodland habitats in Eurasia. It is a tuberous-rooted herbaceous perennial growing to 15 cm, with yellow, cup-shaped flowers held above a collar of leaf-like bracts, appearing in late winter and early spring. The six sepals are bright yellow and petaloid and the petals are in the form of tubular nectaries, which reward early pollinating insects. It is valued in cultivation as one of the earliest of all flowers to appear. Its life cycle exploits the deciduous woodland canopy, flowering at the time of maximum sunlight reaching the forest floor, then completely dying back to its underground tuber after flowering.

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