Sharp-lobed Hepatica is an Early Spring Bloomer

Featured Photo Credit: reijotelaranta

Hepaticas are among the first flowers to bloom in the spring. The flowers close at night and on cloudy days when pollinators are not likely to be flying. They are delicately attractive and have a tendency to blow about on their slender stems in the wind.

Quick Growing Guide

Botanical Name: Hepatica acutiloba

Botanical Family: Ranunculaceae

En français: Hépatique á lobes aigus

Colours:

Blooms:

Sun / Shade:

Water: Average water requirement.

Pollinators:

Hardiness Zones:

Heptica leaves are known as basal leaves, which means they only grow at the base of the plant. Its flower is symmetrical. The leaves turn red in winter and last until spring flowering.

The two species of hepatica are sharp-lobed and round-lobed. Sharp-lobed refers to the leaves that are pointed on the ends. Round-lobed means they have more rounded tips. Bee visitors include honeybees, Small Carpenter bees, Andrenid bees, and Halictid bees.

Caring for Sharp-lobed Hepatica

In nature, find hepatica in dry mixed forest. Hepetica is best grown in places where it can remain undisturbed for years. The plants will need a layer of decaying leaves as a year-round mulch.

Growing Hepatica in the garden in a location that simultes their natural environment of dry mixed forest. They require a location that has dappled sunlight in early spring and light shade during the summer.

Light purple coloured hepatica flowers
Light purple coloured hepatica flowers

Propagating Hepatica acutiloba

The hepatica seeds require a period of cold moist, weather, followed by warm, moist weather, and then another period of cold and moist. Plant seeds in fall.

While Hepatica is slow to start, it is a very long-lived perennial and quite showy. Gardeners may also be attracted to this plant as it is one of the first to bloom in springtime. They prefer to grow in woodlands, near slopes or banks, where the soil is moist in springtime. They are drought tolerant in the summer. Sometimes it is cultivated as a rock garden plant.

Companion Plants

Acer saccharum, Fraxinus americana, Dicentra canadensis, and Erigenia bulbosa are some suggested companion plants.

Pruning Hépatique á lobes aigus

The best way to propogate a heptica is through seeding or division. Do not remove the leaves over winter. Plant seeds in early fall.

Toxicity

Hepticas have poisonous leaves and hairy, toxic seeds to deter herbivores. They also partner with ants for seed dispersal. Ants take the seeds, eat the elaiosome and discard the seeds, usually in a nutrient rich soil that is hidden from seed-eating birds.

Other

No serious pest or disease issues.

The word “hepatica” comes from the Greek word “hepar” which means liver, and refers to the shape of the leaves. They also believed it would aid in liver ailments, hence the common names “liverwort” or “liverleaf.” Sharp-lobed hepaticas were used by the Chippewa in mammal traps and used by the Iroquois to relieve shortness of breath in forest runners. Modern medicine has proven that Heptica has no medical efficacy.

Sources and References

http://ontariowildflowers.com/main/species.php?id=175

Related Posts

Recent Additions

  • Slender Blazing Star

    Slender Blazing Star

    Slender Blazing Star is an upright, clump-forming perennial with fluffy, purple flowers that bloom in late summer. It is best to plant it with slow-growing perennials or as a border plant, as it is a shorter, non-competitive plant. The long-blooming perennial Liatris, a slender blazing star or gayfeather, is native to eastern North America. It…

    Read more


  • Sansevieria (Snake) Plant Varieties

    Sansevieria (Snake) Plant Varieties

    Snake Plants are available in various shapes, colors, and sizes, so you are sure to find one that’s right for you. The following are a few Sansevieria varieties every Snake Plant lover should know about. You might want more information on the adaptability of sansevieria houseplant. Sansevieria trifasciata There are many cultivars of Sansevieria trifasciata,…

    Read more


  • False Solomon’s Seal

    False Solomon’s Seal

    False Solomon’s Seal boasts beautiful white blossoms, scarlet fruit, and fragrant petals. It is native throughout North America. It grows from 30 to 75 cm tall and has light green alternating leaves and a zigzagging stem with a flower head or cluster of fruit at its tip, depending on the season. You might be interested…

    Read more