Winter Aconite Eranthis hyemalis 'Noël Ayres' (d)

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


The Eranthis hyemalis 'Noël Ayres', commonly known as winter aconite, features a vibrant and cheerful appearance, typically signaling one of the first hints of spring in a garden. Resembling small rays of sunshine, the blooms are bright yellow with a cup-like shape, each flower having a collar of green, leaf-like bracts beneath it that adds a charming contrast to the yellow petals. The glossy, yellow flowers are underpinned by a ruff of green foliage that remains quite discreet until the blooms have begun to show themselves. They are known to peek out even when snow is on the ground, offering a bold splash of color against the otherwise stark winter landscape. The leaves are deeply lobed and have a somewhat leathery texture that unfurls as the flowering progresses. This plant typically bears its blooms on singular stalks which emerge straight from the ground, each carrying its own little sun-like flower, promising the warmer days to come.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Winter Aconite, Winter Hellebore

    • Common names

      Eranthis hyemalis 'Noël Ayres'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Eranthis hyemalis, commonly known as winter aconite, is considered toxic to humans. Consuming any part of the plant can lead to symptoms of toxicity which may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to cardiac complications and respiratory distress. It is important to avoid ingesting any portion of this plant and to seek medical attention if ingestion occurs.

    • To pets

      Winter aconite is also toxic to pets. If ingested, pets may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and drooling. In serious cases, ingestion of this plant can result in seizures or cardiac abnormalities. Immediate veterinary care is recommended if a pet consumes any part of the winter aconite plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      0.25 feet (7.62 cm)

    • Spread

      0.25 feet (7.62 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Early Bloom: Eranthis hyemalis 'Noël Ayres' is known for its early flowering, often being one of the first plants to bloom in late winter or early spring, providing a cheerful display when few other plants are flowering.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers provide an important early food source for bees and other pollinators emerging from hibernation.
    • Ground Cover: This plant forms a low-growing carpet of green foliage, which can help to suppress weeds and cover bare patches in the garden during its growing season.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, winter aconite requires minimal care, making it a suitable choice for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Cold Tolerance: The plant is hardy in cold climates, being able to tolerate frost and snow, and can survive in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 7.
    • Spring Interest: Its bright yellow flowers add a burst of color, offering contrast to other spring blooms and contributing to a diverse, vibrant garden.

  • 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

    • Winter aconite 'Noël Ayres' can be used in natural dye production, with parts of the plant yielding green and yellow hues suitable for dyeing fabrics.
    • In small-scale biomass production, the dried plant material of Winter aconite could potentially serve as a combustible for heating in some rural applications.
    • Winter aconite petals can be used in artistic creations, such as in the crafting of eco-friendly jewelry or preserved in resin art pieces.
    • The seeds of Winter aconite may be used in educational settings to demonstrate the process of seed germination and early plant development to students.
    • Due to its early flowering, Winter aconite can serve as an indicator plant in phenological studies that track seasonal changes and climate patterns.
    • Winter aconite can be used as a living mulch due to its ground-cover abilities, helping to suppress weeds and maintain soil moisture in gardens.
    • Inhibiting soil erosion, the root system of Winter aconite helps to stabilize soil on slopes and curved garden beds.
    • The plant's ability to grow in woodland conditions means Winter aconite can be used in rewilding projects to help restore native plant populations.
    • As part of a sensory garden, Winter aconite's bright yellow flowers can be included to provide visual stimuli during the otherwise dreary late winter months.
    • During winter garden design courses, Winter aconite can be used as a case study to illustrate the importance of year-round interest in landscaping.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Winter Aconite is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Winter Aconite is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Hope and Anticipation: Winter aconite (the common name for Eranthis hyemalis) often symbolizes hope because it is one of the first flowers to emerge, sometimes even pushing through snow, suggesting the arrival of spring and the end of dark, cold days.
    • Resilience: The plant's ability to thrive in cold, harsh conditions is seen as a symbol of resilience and the capacity to endure challenging times.
    • New Beginnings: The blossoming of winter aconite signifies the start of a new cycle, making it a symbol for new beginnings and fresh starts.
    • Bravery: Its emergence during the late winter months also embodies courage and the bravery to emerge at a time when most plants remain dormant.
    • Cheerfulness: The bright yellow blooms can represent joy and cheerfulness, bringing a splash of color and happiness to otherwise gloomy environments.

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

    Winter aconites should be watered gently at the base to avoid dislodging their delicate stems and flowers. During the growing season, they require moderate moisture and should be watered when the top inch of the soil feels dry, which could be around once a week, depending on weather conditions. These bulbous plants prefer to be kept slightly moist but not waterlogged. Over the span of a week during active growth, they may require about 1 to 2 gallons of water, especially if there has been no significant rainfall.

  • sunLight

    Winter aconites thrive best in partial shade to full sun. An ideal spot for these plants would be a location where they receive morning sunlight and some afternoon shade, especially in regions with hot summers. They can also grow well under deciduous trees, where they receive dappled sunlight and are protected from the harsh afternoon sun.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Winter aconites are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, thriving in conditions between 35°F and 65°F. They can survive minimum temperatures down to about -20°F and are well adapted to cold climates. However, they perform best when they are not subjected to prolonged periods of heat above 70°F.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning winter aconites is not typically necessary since they are low-maintenance bulbs. After flowering, the foliage should be left intact to allow the plants to gather energy for the next season. Once the leaves yellow and die back, they can be gently removed. Clean up old foliage in late spring after it has fully withered to keep the planting area tidy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Winter aconite thrives in a moist, well-drained soil with a high organic matter content. The ideal soil mix for Eranthis hyemalis 'Noël Ayres' includes equal parts of loam, peat, and sharp sand to ensure good drainage and fertility. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Winter aconite typically does not require frequent repotting as it is a hardy bulbous perennial. It can be left undisturbed for several years. Repot or divide Eranthis hyemalis 'Noël Ayres' only when the clumps become overcrowded, which is generally every 3 to 5 years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Winter aconite prefers outdoor conditions and does not require specific humidity levels when grown indoors. It is tolerant of a range of humidity levels as long as its soil moisture needs are met, making it adaptable to average indoor humidity conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light and cool temps.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in dappled shade; mulch well in fall.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Eranthis hyemalis 'Noël Ayres', commonly known as winter aconite, begins its life as a tuber that is typically planted in the fall. During the winter, it lies dormant under the soil, but as early as late winter to early spring, it breaks dormancy and sprouts, pushing up through the snow or mulch to produce a rosette of dark green leaves and bright yellow, cup-shaped flowers. After flowering, which usually occurs from late winter to early spring, the plant focuses on photosynthesis and the storage of energy in the tuber for the following season. When the flowering period is over, the leaves start to yellow and wither as the plant enters the senescence phase, during which it transfers nutrients back to the tuber. During the summer months, Eranthis hyemalis 'Noël Ayres' remains dormant underground, escaping the heat. As temperatures cool down again and the cycle repeats, the tuber germinates once more, continuing the life cycle of growth, flowering, and dormancy from year to year.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early spring

    • The most popular method of propagating Winter aconite 'Noël Ayres', is by separating its offsets, which are the small bulbs that form around the base of the parent plant. This is best done when the plant is dormant, usually in late summer to autumn. To propagate, carefully dig up the clump of bulbs after the foliage has died back, ensuring minimum disturbance to the roots. Gently separate the offsets from the main bulb. These tiny bulbs can then be replanted immediately, around 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 centimeters) deep and about 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) apart, in a location with well-draining soil and partial to full sun exposure. Water the newly planted offsets to help establish them. This method allows for the spreading of the plants throughout the garden and maintaining the health and vigor of the parent plant.