Eranthis hyemalis
Garden Plant Information

Eranthis hyemalis


Eranthis hyemalis


Eranthis hyemalis with a bee in it



Eranthis hyemalis (also called Winter aconite and wolf's bane)







General description

Clump forming, low growing, tuberous, winter flowering perennial with yellow cup-shaped flowers. This plant gives lovely colour for late winter and early spring and will naturalise into large clumps or drifts under trees and in short grass.


Useful for early foraging insects, like carder bees, which are known for early appearances.

Season of interest

Winter and early spring.

Key horticultural features

  1. Low growing perennial. Forms rounded clumps up to 13cm in height with a spread of 10cm.

  2. Narrow, dark green leaves divided into finger shaped lobes. True leaves grow after the flowers appear.

  3. Bright yellow cup-shaped flower surrounded by dark green leaf-like ruffs of lobed bracts.

  4. Dies down completely after spring. Good for naturalising under trees. Better to plant in the green rather than corms, as the plant will be more successful.

Cultural details


Shade or partial shade.


Humus-rich, well drained but not dry. Tolerant but does best in alkaline soils.


Fully to frost hardy.


Divide in April or May while still in the green, if necessary.


Divide clumps after flowering or collect and sow seed in autumn. Try to get fresh tubers as dry ones may not establish well. Buying potted specimens and planting 'in the green' (in leaf) is generally the most successful way to get them going.