Monday, February 20, 2012

Eranthis hyemalis, Winter Aconite

My affection for this short European geophyte is disproportionately large considering it's diminutive stature and its plain, almost weedy, appearance. It's always an early bloomer, often showing some foliage and partly open buds as early as mid-January. Cold weather often stops it in its tracks and many winters partially opened buds sit for two or three weeks before a warm spell opens them up. There has been no shortage of warm spells this winter so it's no surprise that clump after clump of fully open flowers are smiling up at us as February moves towards an end.

Sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday day length will pass 11 hours leaving us just 60 minutes shy of the equinox. The Vernal Equinox this year is March 20. By then our days will be 12 hours and 9 minutes. Don't ask me. I'm sure there's a good explanation. I only know that I prefer daylight to darkness.

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