Hepaticas on the Home Front

– Posted in: Native/Invasive
12 comments

Hepatica acutiloba, white flowered liverwort

This Hepatica acutiloba seems almost identical to the one I saw in Tennessee, and it’s growing within walking distance of my house.

Almost a month after I visited Tennessee, I walked down our country road to the same general area where I had seen trilliums and other spring ephemerals in abundance last year, and discovered hepaticas growing there as well. I must have visited this area too late to see them last year.

Besides white, I saw various shades of blue-purple and pink, often growing right next to each other, so I don’t think the pH of the soil caused the different colors. They were more likely genetic variations.

Hepatica acutiloba, blue liverwort.

This was the deepest colored hepatica that I saw, next to a red trillium (Trillium erectum) in bud.

Hepatica acutiloba, pink-flowered liverwort

This clump has a pink flush to it. I did see some pinker ones, but didn’t get a good photo of any.

Hepatica acutiloba lavender liverwort

Would you call this lavender?

Hepatica acutiloba, liverwort with a blue flush

This one has a delicate blue flush.

I am reassured that, once I find a source for it, Hepatica acutiloba will do well here.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

When dealing with frost it is always best to be paranoid. In the spring never think it is too late for one more frost to come. And in the fall never think it too early.

~Rundy in Frost

12 Comments… add one

Betsy June 17, 2013, 5:16 pm

Just discovered your blog and love it.

Betsy June 17, 2013, 5:34 pm

I too love hepaticas. I have a edge of the woods yard and discovered two little hepaticas a few years ago. They appeared like magic and I treasure them. Also have Dutchman’s Breeches there too.

Flâneur Gardener May 9, 2013, 1:11 am

I love hepaticas; they have such pretty flowers and the foliage is wonderful. I just have one, but it’s cherished partly because it’s pretty and partly because my grandmother dug it up from her garden and gave to me when we bought the summer house.

Diane C May 8, 2013, 9:42 pm

What a beautiful discovery. I have some spring bloomers similar but a different type leaf. I missed them when I moved here in ’11 and again last year because I was in a wheelchair so I’m still discovering the joys of my own yard

Aaron May 7, 2013, 9:27 am

They are beautiful, colorful and so lovely. Best part is that you discovered them in unlikeliest of places.

Carol - May Dreams Gardens May 5, 2013, 8:24 pm

Those are pretty and look so delicate. A great find!

Lynn Hunt May 4, 2013, 9:21 am

I have not seen these in my area, Kathy, but I will keep looking. They are beautiful. We have lots of trilliums including white, pink and dark pink. I am wondering if the cool temps are making the pinky ones take on a deeper hue. Also have a Wake Robin or two (aka Stinking Benjamin!) I love finding these treasures in the woods.

Kathy Purdy May 5, 2013, 1:01 pm

I do know that Trillium grandiflorum (white) turns pink as it ages. Not sure if you are seeing white trilliums in various stages of maturity, or different varieties. There is a book Trilliums by Frederick and Roberta Case and a Facebook group called Trillium if you want to learn more about them.

Donna@Gardens Eye View May 4, 2013, 6:01 am

What I wouldn’t give for some of those purple and pink ones…I love this flower…you have a beautiful area to see such fantastic wildflowers.

Frances May 4, 2013, 5:16 am

Those are beautiful, Kathy! How wonderful to have a nice assortment growing so close to your new place. You WILL get some for your garden, I am positive!

Sunniva May 3, 2013, 11:50 pm

We have these in Norway as well. Beautiful little flowers that grow in the forest as a true sign of spring. When I went in 2nd or 3rd grade (mid 90s) we learned that these flowers were a protected species because they can’t reproduce with their root system, only through pollination. After reading your post I decided I had to read up on this to see if this still was true, or if my memory served me right. Turns out that was a propaganda campaign started in the 50s by people who wanted others to let the flowers be and not pick them. Many Norwegian today still believe this to be true according to a newspaper article in one of Norways largest. Funny what things you remember from childhood, and how they actually relate to reality :-)

Kathy Purdy May 4, 2013, 9:09 am

Many wildflowers are endangered here because of loss of habitat, deer browsing, and over-picking, but most flowers reproduce by pollination, so that would be a surprising reason. My neighbor who has lived here over 20 years says the slope opposite his house used to be covered with trilliums, and he thinks they have disappeared because of deer browsing them.

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