Eranthis hyemalis

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Eranthis hyemalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Eranthis
Species: E. hyemalis
Binomial name
Eranthis hyemalis
Eranthis hyemalis shoot emerging from soil in early spring

Eranthis hyemalis is a species of flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to woodland habitats in Europe. It is a tuberous rooted herbaceous perennial growing to 15 cm (6 in), with large (2–3 cm (1–1 in)), yellow, cup-shaped flowers held above a collar of 3 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. There are numerous stamens and usually six unfused carpels. The fruit are follicles each containing several seeds. It is commonly known as winter aconite, and is valued in cultivation as one of the earliest of all flowers to appear.[1] E. hyemalis[2] and the sterile hybrid cultivar 'Guinea Gold'[3] have both gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

The Latin specific epithet hyemalis means "winter-flowering".[4]

As a spring ephemeral plant, 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.

All parts of the plant are poisonous when consumed by humans.


  1. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  2. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Eranthis hyemalis". Retrieved 18 June 2013.  line feed character in |title= at position 32 (help)
  3. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Eranthis hyemalis (Tubergenii Group) 'Guinea Gold'". Retrieved 18 June 2013.  line feed character in |title= at position 32 (help)
  4. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315. 

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