Flower Count – day 1 – eranthis

eranthis - winter aconite - between pots
photo by SVSeekins

After a few months of grey, drizzly days & dark, windy nights of the west coast winter, it’s not really a surprise to find me kneeling down in the wet to confirm a tiny flower sighting.

Even though the prairies are suffering through the deep freeze, they have sunny days to lift spirits.  I’m just too wimpy about snow, so I tough it out on the west coast – – and I appreciate the sunshine that bursts from a little yellow bud.

That’s probably why Victoria promotes a flower count in the first week of March each year.  It might seem obnoxious to the rest of Canada, but this is how we cope with the depression of the grey skies.   Sorry.

Commonly called winter aconite, eranthis has a simple little flower.  It blooms even before crocus.  It’s not much, but if you’re looking for action this early in the year, eranthis is a good pick.

eranthis - winter aconite - in leafs
photo by SVSeekins

Garden shops stock eranthis bulbs in September & October  for fall planting. Well, it’s not actually a bulb.  When I first opened the package, I was a little concerned with the small, shrivelled bits.  Perhaps they’re called corms?  I’m not sure, but they’re certainly not like any bulbs I know.  Which side is up?  No pointy tip to place up.   No roots to place down.

The hole was already dug, so with nothing to lose by throwing them in, I crossed my fingers.

eranthis - winter aconite cluster
photo by SVSeekins

Happily they survived.

And the deer leave them be!  That’s another win.  🙂

Hopefully they’ll settle into this new home for the long-term.  I know their blooms will pass, and even the leaves will die back by mid spring,   but if they’re happy with the scene, and an occasional drink, I’m told they’ll naturalize & maybe even spread a bit.   That would be nice.

Isn’t it a nice idea to look forward to such welcome visitors each winter?


© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2012.

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Flower Count