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10. Eranthis Salisbury, Trans. Linn. Soc. London, Bot. 8: 303. 1807.

Winter-aconite [Greek er, spring, and anthos, flower]

Bruce D. Parfitt

Herbs , perennial, from ca. 1cm thick rhizomes formed of several subglobose segments (tubers). Leaves basal, petiolate. Leaf blade deeply, palmately divided or 3--5-foliolate; leaflets ovate, unlobed to 3-lobed, margins sharply cleft, irregularly dentate. Inflorescences terminal, flowers solitary; involucres present, involucral bracts 3, leaflike, closely subtending flower. Flowers bisexual, radially symmetric; sepals not persistent in fruit, 5--8, yellow, plane, narrowly obovate or elliptic, ca. 15--18 mm; petals 5--8, distinct, yellow [white], cupped around nectary, 2-lipped, ± clawed, ca. 4mm; nectary present; stamens 30--36; filaments filiform; staminodes absent between stamens and pistils; pistils 3--9(--11), 1-carpellate; ovules 6--9 per pistil; style present. Fruit follicles, aggregate, stipitate, flat, [linear] oblong-lanceolate, sides with veins conspicuous upon drying; beak terminal, straight or distally curved, 2--3 mm. Seeds olive-brown, ovoid to ellipsoid, somewhat flattened, smooth. x =8.

Species 8 (1 in the flora): North America, Europe, Asia.

The seven Asian species are sometimes segregated as Shibateranthis Nakai. Of the species that are cultivated in North America, only one is known to escape and infrequently become established; more often it is found persisting after cultivation.


McIntosh, F. 1989. Eranthis. In: S. M. Walters et al., eds. 1984+. The European Garden Flora. 3+ vols. Cambridge, etc. Vol. 3, p. 331.

Lower Taxon


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