Winter Colour

Despite all of the snow and frost of recent weeks there are still some flowers attempting to bloom.  One of the easiest to spot is the small but bright yellow, perennial Winter Aconite (Eranthis Hyemalis) which can be found flowering away in January and February in the UK.  These are hardy plants (members of the buttercup family) that grow close to the ground in shady woodland, and, as you can see from the picture below are quite able to survive frost and snow.

Winter Aconite

The leaves only show fully once the flowers have died, the leaves themselves dying off when the forest canopy shades the plants out.

Although the plant looks pretty and as though it wouldn’t harm a fly, beware, as all parts are poisonous.  According to Wikipedia, Medea attempted to poison Theseus by putting aconite in his wine.  Despite (or maybe because of) this, Winter Aconites are commonly sold in garden centres as an easy way to add a bit of Winter colour to an otherwise drab and dormant garden.