This week’s plant, the Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis), is the first of the late winter bulbs to flower, producing beautiful buttercup-like yellow flowers. A member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), it spreads happily by seed once established, often forming thick colonies which are a real asset to the winter garden. As soon as the days lengthen and the weather warms up, the foliage disappears and plants often then remain dormant for eight months. Introduced in 1570 from western Europe, the Winter Aconite tolerates shade, thriving in woodland and under deciduous trees, but it will also grow in open borders and grass, providing conditions are not too warm and dry. Within the University Parks, you can find it near the Lady Margaret Hall gate, on the South Walk and in the Hayrick Border.