Thursday, February 9, 2012
Winter aconite is a flowering plant that is native to Europe, Asia, and Japan. It is a perennial that grows to be six to eight inches tall. Its yellow flowers, resembling buttercups, can bloom in early January. These hardy plants are frost-tolerant, so a little snow is not a problem. The winter aconite's blooms last for two to three months. When other spring flowers start to bloom, the winter aconite fades away.Since winter aconite originates from woodland habitats, it requires well-drained, humus-rich soil. It thrives in full sun or partial shade. This is why it does so well in the woods, before the leaves emerge on the trees. The winter aconite has small tubers. These should be planted one to three inches deep in late summer -definitely no later than September.
Winter aconite is ideal for covering sloped landscapes or for edging. These plants tend to be invasive, so you may have to keep an eye on them and trim them back so they don't take over your garden.
Winter aconite is poisonous, so don't let small children or pets eat the flowers or the tubers. "Aconite," by the way, is Greek for "spring flower." If anyone is interested in Greek and Roman mythology, aconite is what Medea used to try to poison Theseus - she put a little in his wine. Definitely do not try that at home!