I love this plant. It is always exciting to see. I was recently looking at a friend's land to determine what plants he has. There was Hepatica on a side hill the leaves still looked beautiful even though it was early November.
Hepatica is an early spring bloomer. When we have a few warm days after the snow has melted Hepatica begins to bloom. Here in Springwater this usually happens about April 15 to the 25th. They bloom for quite a long period usually two to three weeks depending the day time temperatures. Hepatica provides pollen for insects such as bees and flies. Hepatica also provides us with the joy of seeing flowers after a long winter.
In the spring as last years leaves die back, the flowers emerge they have 6 to 10 petals that are really sepals. The flowers range in color from pure white to pink to blue. The leaves are generally 3 lobed and green or mottled with brown and very attractive. They last through the winter. When flowering begins the fuzzy new leaves begin to unfurl they look like they are wearing winter coats. Its a fun plant to watch.
Propagation can be done by seed or division. When raised from open pollinated seed you get a range of colors. If you divide plants the color will be that of the parent plant. The seed needs to be planted as soon as it is ripe. This can be tricky because it never turns brown or tan. The seed stays green. Keep and eye on it. The seed is ripe when it comes loose when you touch it. Division is done in the fall lift the entire plant and gently tease divisions apart, leaving at least 2 or 3 buds per plant. One important thing I have noticed is that Hepatica usually grows either on a bank or small incline or on a raised area in the woods. When you plant it in the garden this seems like a good rule of thumb to put it on an incline or on a raised area. Hepatica does not like to have moisture collect around the crown. It will cause loss of the plant. Hepatica needs shade, the soil should contain organic matter and moist.
Hepatica sp. - Liverleaf
-Hepatica is an early spring blooming plant
-The 3 lobed leaves persist through the winter
-The colors of the petals vary
-Height: 6 to 10 inches tall
-Zone: 3 to 8