Winter aconite Eranthis hyemalis (Tubergenii Group) 'Guinea Gold'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
winter aconite 'Guinea Gold'


'Guinea Gold' is a bright and attractive flowering plant known for its display in the colder months. It bears rich, buttery yellow flowers that have a cupped shape with multiple layered petals, giving them a slightly frilly appearance. The center of the flowers typically showcases a ring of small, elongated decorative features that add to their charm. Each flower stands atop a slender green stem. The foliage of 'Guinea Gold' is also quite distinctive, forming a ruffled collar around the base of the stem. These leaves are deeply dissected, somewhat resembling a fern in texture and shape. The leaves' green color contrasts nicely with the vibrant yellow of the blooms. Overall, 'Guinea Gold' is a plant that brings a cheerful splash of color during the time of year when few other plants are in flower.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Winter Aconite, Guinea Gold Winter Aconite, Tubergen's Winter Aconite

    • Common names

      Eranthis hyemalis (Tubergenii Group) 'Guinea Gold'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Winter aconite is considered poisonous due to its content of toxic alkaloids such as helleborine. If ingested by humans, it can cause a variety of symptoms like nausea, vomiting, colic, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can lead to dizziness, weakness, and even cause cardiac and respiratory problems, which could be fatal if left untreated.

    • To pets

      Winter aconite is also toxic to pets. The ingestion of this plant can lead to similar symptoms as in humans, such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and drooling. In severe cases, it may cause cardiac arrhythmia, seizures, or respiratory failure, which can be life-threatening and warrants immediate veterinary attention.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4 inches (10 cm)

    • Spread

      4 inches (10 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Early Flowering: Eranthis hyemalis is one of the earliest flowering plants, sometimes blooming as early as late winter, providing a splash of color after a dull winter.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The bright yellow flowers attract early-season pollinators like bees, which are crucial for the continuation of many plant species.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, Winter Aconite requires minimal care, making it suitable for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Naturalizing: It can spread over time to create impressive carpets of yellow, which can be especially striking in woodland gardens or under deciduous trees.
    • Tolerance to Cold: This hardy plant can withstand cold temperatures, making it suitable for planting in a variety of climates and extending the floral season in the garden.
    • Deer and Rodent Resistant: The entire plant is toxic, which helps deter deer, rodents, and other animals from eating it, protecting your garden from damage.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Naturalizing in Woodlands: 'Guinea Gold' can be used to create a natural underplanting in deciduous woodland areas, providing early spring color before the trees leaf out.
    • Creating Contrast in Rock Gardens: Their striking yellow petals can provide a beautiful contrast amongst the varied textures and colors of alpine and rock gardens.
    • Indicator of Seasonal Change: Due to its early flowering nature, winter aconite can serve as a phenological indicator, signaling the end of winter and the start of spring.
    • Educational Tool: Gardeners and educators can use winter aconite to teach about plant cycles, especially the emergence and blooming of plants after winter dormancy.
    • Crafting Natural Dyes: The bright yellow flowers of winter aconite can potentially be used to create natural dyes for fabric and yarn.
    • Interplanting with Bulbs: Winter aconite can be interplanted with other spring bulbs to create layered floral displays that maximize space in the garden.
    • Photography Subject: The vivid yellow blooms against the barren backdrop of late winter make winter aconite a great subject for nature and macro photography.
    • Supporting Early Pollinators: As one of the first flowers to bloom, winter aconite provides an early source of nectar for bees and other pollinators awakening from hibernation.
    • Cultural Symbolism: In some cultures, winter aconite may be symbolically used to represent anticipation and hope for the upcoming spring season.
    • Companion Planting for Vegetable Gardens: They can be planted around vegetable gardens as an ornamental edge that blooms early and dies back before vegetables need more space.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Winter Aconite is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Winter Aconite is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Renewal: As one of the first flowers to bloom in late winter or early spring, Eranthis hyemalis, commonly known as winter aconite, is often associated with the renewal of life and the promise of brighter days ahead.
    • Hope: Its early appearance when the ground is often still cold and frosty makes it a symbol of hope and the persistence of life even through tough conditions.
    • Bravery: Blooming through the snow, winter aconite represents courage and the ability to overcome challenges, symbolizing bravery in the face of adversity.
    • Optimism: The cheerful yellow blooms of 'Guinea Gold' bring light to bleak winter landscapes, embodying optimism and the positive expectation for the coming spring season.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Early spring
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Winter aconite should be watered moderately while it is growing and flowering, typically from late winter to spring. You should aim for about 1 inch of water per week, either through rainfall or supplemental watering. During periods of drought or unusually dry weather, provide additional water to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. After the foliage has died back in late spring, reduce watering as the plant goes dormant and requires less moisture. Always check the soil moisture before watering to prevent overwatering, which can lead to bulb rot.

  • sunLight

    Winter aconite does best in partial shade to full sun. Ideally, it should be planted in a spot that receives morning sunlight and is shaded during the hottest part of the day, especially in regions with hot summers. A location under deciduous trees is excellent as it provides sun in the winter and spring when the trees are bare and shade during the summer when the trees are in full leaf.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Winter aconite is hardy and can tolerate winter temperatures as low as -20°F, making it capable of surviving cold winters. The ideal growing temperature for this plant is between 35°F and 65°F. Hot temperatures above 75°F can cause the plant to enter dormancy, so it is important to provide some shade during the hottest parts of the year to protect it from extreme heat.

  • scissorsPruning

    Winter aconite generally does not need pruning, as it dies back naturally after blooming. However, you can remove spent flowers if desired to keep the plant looking tidy. There is no need for seasonal or regular pruning, and the best time to clean up any dead foliage is after it has completely withered away, typically in late spring or early summer.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Winter aconites thrive in well-draining, humus-rich soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A mix of loam, peat or leaf mold, and sand or perlite is ideal to ensure proper drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Winter aconites are generally not repotted as they are hardy perennial bulbs. Instead, they are divided every few years and replanted immediately into the garden to rejuvenate growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Winter aconites require outdoor humidity levels as they are not typically grown indoors. They are tolerant of the natural humidity found in their outdoor environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure cool temperatures and bright light; not ideal for indoor growth.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in autumn, full sun to partial shade, in fertile soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of Winter Aconite 'Guinea Gold' begins with the germination of tuberous roots underground in late summer or early fall. As temperatures cool, the plant develops a rosette of leaves close to the ground. Following leaf development, bright yellow flowers bloom on short stalks above the foliage in late winter to early spring, often emerging through the snow. After flowering, the plant sets seed in small capsules, which, when ripe, release the seeds to propagate the next generation. The foliage dies back as the temperatures rise in late spring and the plant enters dormancy during the summer. The cycle recommences with the reactivation of the tuberous roots in the next growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early spring

    • Eranthis hyemalis, commonly known as winter aconite, is often propagated through division, which is the most popular method for this species. The best time to divide the tubers is after the foliage has died back, usually in late spring to early summer. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the clumps of tubers and gently separate them, making sure that each section has at least one growth point. Replant the divisions immediately at a depth of about 1.5 to 2.5 inches (4 to 6 cm) and spaced approximately 3 inches (about 7.5 cm) apart in well-drained soil with partial to full sun exposure. Water the newly planted tubers thoroughly after planting to help establish them. Given the right conditions, winter aconite will naturalize and spread over time, creating a beautiful early spring display.