For flower lovers in zones 3b and 4, there are some choices for winter flowers for the landscape. Bulbs are the answer.
- Winter Aconite, Eranthus hyemalis - the more common of the aconites which originated from Europe with lemon-yellow flowers and are great planted as borders or under shrubs or trees. Definitely best used in large numbers. By late January or early February, these will be blooming.
- Winter Aconite, Eranthus cilicica - is not as common as E. hyemalis. These bulbs are originally from Turkey with yellow flowers with smaller yellow-bronze leaves.
Aconites are easy to grow. As long as aconites have even moisture, they will survive in full-sun and/or partial shade. For Colorado with our alkaline soils, these bulbs do well in alkaline soil. They thrive in zones 4 through 7.
The second type of winter flower bulb is as follows:
- Snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis 'Flora Pleno' - a bulb with double white flowering petals originating from northern Europe.
- Snowdrops, Galanthus elwesii - is a bulb with giant honey scented snowdrops.
Snowdrops need to be planted in the fall. They require full-sun with moist soil. They will do well in zones 2 through 4. The best feature is they bloom after Christmas. These bulbs need to be planted in large numbers as they are used to naturalize an area, or a border.