Eranthis Salisb.

Eranthis is a genus with eight species, all native in Eurasia (Boens 2014). Its center of diversity clearly is in East Asia (e.g. Wang & al. 2001, Lee & Yeau 2007, Lee & al. 2012). At least four species are grown as ornamentals but only E. hyemalis is widespread in cultivation and counts almost 30 cultivars. Based on genome size it was shown already that in the Netherlands E. cilicica is also present, as well as a hybrid with E. hyemalis (comm. B. Zonneveld). E. cilicica tends to have narrower leaf segments, darker yellow flowers, bronze-green young leaves and a smoother, more terete rhizome. It may, however, be difficult to make a clear distinction between these two species in horticulture (and as escapes in the wild), as a result of crossings.

Molecular studies have shown Eranthis to be a member of the tribe Actaeeae (Compton & Culham 2002).


Boens W. (2014) An overview of Eranthis. Plantsman 13(4): 214-220.

Compton J.A. & Culham A. (2002) Phylogeny and Circumscription of Tribe Actaeeae (Ranunculaceae). Systematic Botany 27(3): 502-511. [available online at:

Lee Y. & Yeau S.H. (2007) 3 species of Eranthis in Korea and Japan. Bull. Korea Pl. Res. 7: 17-18.

Lee C.S., Yeau S.H. & Lee N.S. (2012) Taxonomic Status and Genetic Variation of Korean Endemic Plants, Eranthis byunsanensis and Eranthis pungdoensis (Ranunculaceae) based on nrDNA ITS and cpDNA Sequences. J. Plant Biol. 55: 165-177. [available online at:

Rysiak K. & Żuraw B. (2011) The biology of flowering of winter aconite. Acta Bot. 64(2): 25-32. [available online at:

Simon C. (1980) Ein Beitrag zur Eranthis Diskussion. Bauhinia 7(1): 3-5.

Sorg B. (2010) Die neue Vielfalt der Winterlinge. Gartenpraxis 36: 8-13.

Wang W., Fu D., Li L., Bartholomew B., Brach A.R., Dutton B.E., Gilbert M.G., Kadota Y., Robison O.R., Tamura M., Warnock M.J., Guanghua Z., Ziman S.N. (2001) Ranunculaceae. In: Raven P.H. & Wu Z.-Y. (eds.), Flora of China, vol 6. Science Press and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing China, St. Louis, MO, USA: 133–438. [available online at:]

Yuan Q.O. & Yang Q.E. (2006) Tribal relationships of Beesia, Eranthis and seven other genera of Ranunculaceae: evidence from cytological characters. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 150: 267-289.

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith