Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Flower School 06 Winter Aconite

The Winter Aconite Fairy published in London by Blackie,
1944 in Flower Fairies of the Garden

Lithograph Familiar Wild Flowers (circa 1890)
by Frederick Edward Hulme

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

A tuberous perrenial and an early Spring bloomer who likes moist soil and will be amongst the first show of color( bright orange/yellow) at the break of winter- often seen bursting through mounds of snow. Great for bringing a bright spot to a mossy ground cover as it grows on short stems 2-3" with lovely buttercup shaped blossoms and bright green ruffled collars (bracts). Sweetly paired with other early bloomers like snowdrops and primrose. May easily be divided to form new colonies once the bloom has faded. Simply dig up the tuber, wash, divide and replant to settle into new parts of the garden. Not commonly used for cut flowers but if you want to introduce it into a bridal bouquet a longer stemmed variety(E. tubergenni) could facilitate this purpose better. The blossoms can be wired by applying a wet cotton swab to the stem's ends and sealing with floral tape- a tedious job but possible and rewarding for it's originality. It's lifespan will be limited so be sure to wire directly prior to delivery for this special occasion.