Field of Science

Spring bulbs: winter aconite = yellow cheerfullness

Why plant spring-flowering bulbs?  An old curmudgeon TPP grew up with used to ask, "Can you eat them?" As if that were the only reason for having plants, although here in Lincolnland's maize and soybean desert it does seem as if all other plants were banished or extirpated, fortunately TPP lives in a urban area, where some diversity persists, as opposed to the country.  March has begun with a couple of weeks of mild weather and the spring bulbs are responding.  Here is an image of a property nearby where someone planted some winter aconite (Eranthis hymenalis - buttercup family) some 50-70 years ago and the plants have naturalized to the area and spread, the result of a persistent long-term neglect. Now they announce spring with a remarkable cheerfulness, which helps feed the soul as the poets might say. Even after a short winter, you need some cheering up, and this is a very cheerful plant.  A few snowdrops are thrown in for good measure. Not satisfied with just a blue lawn, and a light blue lawn, and a violet lawn, Mrs. Phactor wants a patch of yellow lawn too.

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