Growing Guide
 
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Hepatica

Herbaceous Perennial Flower, Wildflower

Also known as Liverleaf
Hepatica nobilis
Ranunculaceae Family
Synonym: Hepatica americana, Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa, Hepatica triloba, Anemone hepatica

This small, semi-evergreen woodland plant bears blue, bluish-purple, white, or pink blooms in early spring, and has a clump of three-lobed leaves that resemble the shape of the human liver (hence the name liverleaf). It is rare in its native habitat so be sure to purchase cultivated plants not collected from the wild.

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Site Characteristics
Sunlight:
  • part shade
  • full shade

Soil conditions:

  • tolerates acid soil
  • requires well-drained soil
  • tolerates damp soil
Woodland plant that prefers moist soil rich in humus and neutral to slightly alkaline pH. Thrives in heavy soils. More tolerant of acidic soils than Hepatica acutiloba.

Hardiness zones:

  • 5 to 8
Possibly marginally hardy in Zone 4.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: moderately difficult

Height: 0.25 to 0.5 feet

Spread: 0.25 to 0.5 feet

Bloom time:

  • early spring
  • mid-spring

Flower color:

  • blue
  • violet
  • white
  • pink

Foliage color: dark green

Covered with very soft, silky hairs. Tri-lobed with lobes tapering to a rounded point.

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: cushion, mound or clump

Shape in flower: flower stalks with upright spikes

Flowers borne singly on erect stems above the foliage.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to Europe. var. japonica native to Japan.
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, division or separation - Sow the present seasonís seeds in the summer, or divide the plants shortly after flowering.

Maintenance and care:
Keep soil moist but not soggy.

Does not like being disturbed.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

Pests:
Slugs and snails
Diseases:
Rust
Leaf smut
Varieties
var. japonica grows just 3 inches tall.

Many cultivars have been selected in Japan.