Friday, March 13, 2009

Winter Aconite- English Ivy

(Eranthis hyemalis) blooms in February and March. It is native to Southern Europe, but yellow blooms are very cheerful, so it has naturalized on the south side of the house and gives us all a treat with yellow flowers here in the North at the end of winter.

The seeds spread around of their own accord, I like to collect them before the leaves disappear in early summer and give them to people who have admired it.

The plant has chemical alcaloids in it, is used in Chinese medicine. It ought not to be ingested and so ought not to be grown around kids and dogs who dig. (Wikipedia says so) I do not understand why the blooms in Wikipedia's photo look like my Winter Aconite, but the picture of the seeds do not look like my seeds.

My first Winter Aconite plants came from my Mother’s garden. Now, after about 15 years, I have a yard wide circle. After the aconite is done, bulbs, Wild Ginger and Jack in the Pulpit and Wormwood grow in the same spot.

If I had allowed it, the English Ivy that trails up the brick would have taken over in that place.

Speaking of Ivy, I recently read about pulling the roots of Ivy and letting it dry before removing it from buildings so as not to hurt the brick work.


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