Winter Aconite is often the first wildflower of the spring excepting the Skunk Cabbage. Not native, there are eight varieties that stretch from southern Europe to western Asia and Japan. Introduced as a garden plant, the spread into the woodlands gives me pause at thinking of introducing it into my wildflower garden. Seems a potential problem if it gets out of hand. Nevertheless, it gives a bright burst of brilliant yellow for a few days. I’ve wanted to photograph a rich cluster of Winter Aconite but in the past, the flowers faded before I could get to them. Yesterday, I was lucky at a good friend’s cultivated wildflower garden.
Winter Aconite is a true ephemeral. The flowers fade rapidly and the leaves fully develop to capture the suns energy before completely disappearing by late spring. For those few sunny days in earliest spring, they are a favorite of the bees coming out of a cold winter.