How to Grow Eranthis Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Winter Aconite and Wolf’s Bane

Eranthis genus plants are hardy perennials that contain members such as Winter Aconite and Wolf's Bane.

Eranthis plants usually flower at the end of winter through to the beginning of spring, When in bloom they and carry cup shaped yellow flowers atop green leafy bracts.

These are low growing plants. As they like light shade they are ideal for growing under shrubs.

Eranthis hyemalis
Eranthis hyemalis photograph by anemoneprojectors.

Winter Aconite
Winter aconite picture by Sunbeam Photos.

Eranthis Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Winter Aconite, Wolf’s Bane.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm).
Native: Europe, Asia.
Family: Ranunculaceae.

Growing Region: Zones 4 to 9.
Flowers: Late in winter through to early spring.
Flower Details: Yellow. Cup-shaped.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Peltate. Notched. Bright Green.

Sow/plant: Usually grown from tubers as seed grown plants will not bear flowers for about four years.
Tuber: 3 to 5 inches (8 to 12 cm). Requires soaking for 24 hours before planting.
Seeds: Cover. Germination time: one month to one year. Spacing 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm).
Seed: Method 1: Seeds should first be sown into flats in the autumn. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist. Bring the flats indoors at the beginning of spring and keep at 60 to 70°F (16 to 21°C). Transplant seedlings towards the end of summer or early autumn.
Seed: Method 2: Mix seeds in a moist growing medium, then put in flats, wrap in a large plastic bag, then stratify by refrigeration for three weeks. Next bury the flat as described above. Once seedlings emerge transplant them to their final location.

Requirements and care: Full sunlight; supply partial shade in the summer and autumn. Average soil, humus rich, moist soil. Regular watering during growing periods. Keep soil moist while growing. Propagate: Lift tubers and divide following flowering.
Miscellaneous: The Eranthis plant is described on both Roman and Greek mythology as it was the poison from this plant that Medea used in the attempt to murder Theseus.

How to Grow Winter Aconite and other Eranthis Plants

If planning to grow Winter Aconite outdoors, it is best to plant tubers at a depth of 7 to 12 cm (3 to 5 inches). Alternatively, seeds can be sown in flats in the autumn, under glass against a north facing wall.

Bring indoors in spring to a temperature of about 17 to 20 degrees centigrade (63 to 68°F).

Eranthis hyemalis

Once seedlings appear, transplant them with a spacing of about 7 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) apart. Locate in a partially shaded area of the garden. Growing them benerath a tree is ideal, as they will benefit from getting more light in the winter when the tree loses its leaves, but be protected from the sun in the summer.

Winter Aconite prefers to grow in a moist soil that is humus rich.

It is also possible to start Eranthis seeds by sowing in flats in the spring, then refrigerating for three weeks, sinking the flat outdoors in a shady area.

The germination of Winter Aconite can take anything from one month to a year.

It will usually take as long as four years until Winter aconites planted from seed will bear flowers.

Propagating Eranthis in your Garden

If you require more Eranthis plants, then they can be propagated by division in spring, once they have completed flowering.

Common Questions

How many members does the Eranthis genus have?

The Eranthis genus consists of about 8 species.

Do members of Eranthis make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Eranthis, also known as Winter Aconite, are charming early spring bloomers that provide a splash of color in the garden.

Which Eranthis species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconite) is frequently grown by gardeners.

Are members of the Eranthis plant genus fragrant?

No, Eranthis flowers are not known for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Eranthis?

Eranthis prefers a location with partial shade and well-drained soil.

Is Eranthis invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Eranthis is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Eranthis plants from my garden?

Remove Eranthis by carefully digging up the bulbs, making sure to remove all bulbils to prevent regrowth.


The Eranthis genus, commonly known as Winter Aconite, includes about 8 species of flowering plants native to southern Europe and east to Asia. These small, tuberous perennials are one of the earliest plants to bloom in spring, producing cheerful yellow flowers even in snow.

Eranthis plants prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil, ideally rich in organic matter. They can be grown from tubers, which should be planted in the fall. Given their small size, they are best appreciated in rock gardens, along paths, or at the front of borders, and can also naturalize in lawns or woodland areas.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Eranthis plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Buttercup, Nigella plant, and Larkspur plants.