Spring!?--winter aconites

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Sat, 14 Feb 2009 13:40:29 PST
Bill Lee wrote of my no-show winter aconites "That seems odd, Jim. They are
just opening today here in SW Ohio, Z5a/b. No  
sign of any crocus, although some galanthus leaves showing. We've been
 intense weather, heavy snow, ice, cold temperatures, storms and so on here,

so  the winter aconites are very welcome."

For some reason the winter aconites here are always late. When Dell posted a
note that the winter aconites were blooming in zone 6 Pennsylvania, I went
out and checked very carefully.  There is a local garden where the front
yard in season is full of winter aconites, and they are always in bloom well
before mine. But so far not this year. 

The garden here slopes more or less to the east but is in the shadow of a
thick forest. 
Bill also wrote "Our local newspaper garden columnist did a story on early
bulbs, with photos, and she labeled the winter aconites "Wolfbane" obviously

confusing the common name "aconites" with wolfbane's scientific name
 She manages a good goof like this several times a year, yet won't run her 
copy  by anyone knowledgeable to avoid these errors."

I would say she is not so much in error as she is in the wrong century.
Parkinson, in his Paradisus of 1629, called the winter aconite Winters
Wolfesbane and placed it under the heading Aconitum with the other

According to Parkinson it is just a poisonous as the monkshoods: "very
poisonfull and deadly" as he put it. 

Jim McKenney

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