One of the earliest to flower in spring, along with Galanthus (snowdrop). The typically yellow flowers are interestingly structured, as surrounding the flowers is a ruff of dissected leaf-like bracts. The yellow petals are actually petal-like sepals and the true petals, are modified into a ring of small pocket-like nectaries. Grow in semi-shade to full sun, so suitable in a woodland setting, under deciduous shrubs, or near the front of the herbaceous border.

Introduced into our gardens more than 400 years ago, and now fully established in the wild in the eastern half of England and Scotland, Winter Aconite now has all the appearance of a native species. The flowers are very hardy, even emerging through snow (though that may be more in the past than the future, with climate change), and are a key nectar and pollen resource for queen bumblebees and hoverflies emerging from their winter torpor, as well as a huge boost for the winter-weary gardener.

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