Salvaging winter aconites

Rodger Whitlock
Mon, 04 Feb 2013 14:01:49 PST
If you are salvaging winter aconites, as I had to do in the latter half of 2011 
ahead of a storm sewer recontstruction crossing my property, I advise that they 
be replanted in a nursery bed of some sort, rather than potting them up.

I had at least one form, the Gothenburg double, completely rot away in a pot 
during the 2011-2012 winter. Fortunately, a couple of strays of it turned up 
last spring and I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will reappear this 
year. Would that I had simply replanted the clump after lifting it!

So far the only total loss appears to be the hybrid between E. hyemalis and E. 
cilicia, but it may yet turn up amid the disorder. The orange-tinged form 
("Aurantiaca") is fine, and the pale 'Pauline' and 'Moonlight' seem to be 
returning. One of the pale ones - I think Pauline - is in flower as I write, 
and near it a fat growth that I think may be Moonlight is emerging from the 
soil. (Moonlight is a pale yellow; Pauline is that peculiar near yellow that is 
sometimes called "biscuit", also found in Aurinia saxatilis 'Dudley Neville'.

The ordinary acid-yellow form is an indestructible and my advice can be ignored 
in its case, but the rest are potentially tricky in pots.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Z. 7-8, cool Mediterranean climate

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