This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, er, spring, and anthos, a flower; from the early opening of the flowers). Ranunculaceae. Winter Aconite. Low perennial herbs, grown in open flower-beds because of the very early show Of bright flowers; very desirable.
Rootstock tuberous: basal leaves palmately dissected, 1 stem - leaf sessile or amplexicaul just beneath the large yellow flower: sepals 5-8, petal-like; petals small, 2-lipped nectaries; stamens numerous: carpels few, stalked, many-ovuled, becoming follicles. - About 7 species, natives of Eu. and Asia. The earliest generic name is Cammarum which was given in Hill's British Herbal, p. 47, pl. 7 (1756), but it is not accepted by the "nomina conservanda" of the Vienna code.
Winter aconites are very hardy, and at home in half-shady places, among shrubs or in the border.
Propagated by division of roots. The place in which the tubers are planted should be marked during the summer, when the foliage is dead.
Salisb. (Hette-borus hyemalis, Linn.). Fig. 1406. Erect, 5-8 in.: basal leaves long-petioled: involucre 12 -15 - parted, the bright yellow flowers always sessile; anthers oblong. Jan. - March, or as soon as frost is out of the ground. Naturalized from Eu. B.M. 3. Mn.8, p. 43. G.C. II. 11:245. G. 1: 628; 34:277.
Fig. 1406. Eranthis hyemalis.
Variety cilicica, Huth. (E. cilicica, Schott & Kots-chy). Much like the above: involucre of deeper and more numerous lobes; anthers ovate instead of oblong; sepals broader, being about 1/2in. across: follicles always straight. Season a few weeks later. G.C. III. 13:266. G.M. 49:180. - The stems, when grown in gardens, said to be red-brown. Roots of this were first sent to England from its native home near Smyrna in 1892. Rare in Amer.
DC. Much dwarfer, seldom over 3-4 in. high: flowers bright yellow, a little smaller than those of E. hyemalis, 5-sepaled. Siberia. K. C. Davis.