Eranthis confusion?

Jim McKenney
Sun, 15 Feb 2009 16:45:33 PST
I grow Eranthis hyemalis, E. cilicica, E. ‘Guinea Gold’ and in the past have
had variable, unnamed E. × tubergenii. The variation in bloom time for
Eranthis hyemalis discussed in earlier posts in these threads is based on
observations of plants of Eranthis hyemalis only.  

Yes, E. cilicica does bloom much later than typical E. hyemalis. As a garden
plant I have found it harder to keep from year to year and it does not seed
around for me the way E. hyemalis does. E. cilicica does have the advantages
of larger, brighter yellow flowers and usually very handsome purple or
bronzy stems. My plants set viable seed, but not as freely as my plants of
E. hyemalis. 

The unnamed E. x tubergenii mentioned above proved to be short-lived here.
Some of them had the largest flowers I have ever seen in winter aconite, but
they were not really an improvement on either of the parental species
because they lacked good form. 

“Guinea Gold’ as I have it here is bigger than either of the parental
species as I know them and has been a good garden plant. And it does bloom
after Eranthis hyemalis  and before E. cilicica. 

Eranthis by the way is feminine despite an entry in older editions of the
Flora Europaea for Eranthis hyemalis bulgaricus. 

Note that in some treatments all of the plants mentioned above are treated
as forms of E. hyemalis. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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