Winter Aconite
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Winter Aconite
P Introduced Unknown Photo: Akhtar Malik
Common name: Winter Aconite
Botanical name: Eranthis hyemalis    Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)
Synonyms: Helleborus hyemalis, Helleborus monanthos

Winter Aconite is a tuberous-rooted perennial herb, growing up to 15 cm, with large 2-3 cm, yellow, cup-shaped flowers held above a collar of 3 leaf-like bracts, which emerge out from the ground in late winter and early spring. The six sepals are bright yellow and petal-like, and the petals are of tubular nectaries. There are numerous stamens and usually six unfused carpels. The fruits are follicles each containing several seeds.The basal leaves are rich green and divided into palmate or pinnate lobes. All parts of the plant are poisonous when consumed by humans and other mammals. Winter Aconite is native to SE France to Bulgaria, cultivated as a garden plant elsewhere.

Identification credit: Akhtar Malik Photographed in cultivation in Kashmir.

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