SHARP LOBED HEPATICA
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Hepatica (hepatica, liverleaf, or liverwort) is native to central and northern Europe, Asia and eastern North America. Some botanists include Hepatica within a wider interpretation of Anemone.
Bisexual flowers with pink, purple, blue, or white sepals and three green bracts appear singly on hairy stems from late winter to spring. Butterflies, moths, bees, flies and beetles are known pollinators.
The word hepatica derives from the Greek hepaticus, because the three-lobed leaf was thought to resemble the human liver. The leaves are basal, leathery, and usually three-lobed, remaining over winter (evergreen).
Noted for its tolerance of alkaline limestone-derived soils, Hepatica may grow in a wide range of conditions; it can be found either in deeply deciduous (especially beech) woodland and scrub or grassland in full sun. Hepatica will also grow in both sandy and clay-rich substrates, being associated with limestone. Moist soil and winter snowfall is a requirement; Hepatica is tolerant of winter snow cover.
Hepatica cultivation has been popular in Japan since the 18th century.
Type: Hardy perennial
Hardiness zones: 4-9
Location: Sun or shade
Seeds per pack: 5
Germination: As with many perennial seeds, these seeds benefit from a period of moist cold to help them begin to grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks after the warming period.
Another option if you are planting your seeds in late winter or spring, these seeds can be planted outdoors while it is still cool out (once the ground is workable and unfrozen), to receive the cold period naturally in the garden.
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