Eranthis hyemalis, Winter Aconite

Eranthis hyemalis, Winter Aconite, a very early-blooming member of the Ranunculaceae, indigenous to calcareous soils in woodlands in France, Italy, Switzerland, and the Balkans, naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and a dozen, or so, widely scattered counties in North America. All parts, but especially the tubers, are considered poisonous to mammals and humans due to presence of cardiac glycosides. Contains eranthin A, B and other cardiac glycosides including bufadienolide, a steroidal glycoside also found in the toad genus Bufo. Also contains a lectin that inhibits protein synthesis. It is said to be the first lectin identified from a member of the Ranunculaceae and is thought to be different from all previously described plant lectins.

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