March: Winter Aconite

Winter aconite sometimes blooms as early as February, but it comes into its own in March as the ground thaws and other plants just start to break dormancy. It creates a lovely gold-dotted carpet under leafless trees.

Like last month's featured plant, snowdrop, winter aconite is native to Europe and spread to North America because of its popularity as an ornamental plant. They are excellent naturalizers and can be left alone to fill out a garden bed. Winter aconite is in the same family as buttercups, and it brings the same sunny cheer its cousin provides later in the season.

Common Name: Winter Aconite

Scientific Name: Eranthus hyemalis

Light: full sun to part shade (under deciduous trees is fine since they fade as trees leaf out)

Size: 4"-6" tall and wide, but spreads naturally by underground tubers

Soil: fertile soil, medium moisture

Blooms: yellow, March-April

Other Notes: Deer resistant. To keep your winter aconite healthy, don't remove old leaves until they turn yellow.

See other plants of the month.

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