A small, tuberous perennial, dying back in summer. It is naturalised, sometimes in large numbers, in open woodland, grassland and scrub associated with habitation, under park trees, in gardens and on road verges. Lowland.
E. hyemalis was introduced as a garden plant by 1596, and has become thoroughly established in some areas; it was first recorded in the wild in 1838. The eastern distribution was already apparent in the 1962 Atlas. The great increase since then is probably due to a genuine increase in frequency and the improved recording of aliens.
Native of S. Europe from Italy to Bulgaria, and of Turkey; widely naturalised in Europe outside its native range.
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