Flowers blue, pink or white, in March.
One of the prettiest of the early spring flowers,
forming when well established dense clumps of
small anemone-like blossoms. It is one of the
“particular” genus, often refusing
to grow in spite of every inducement; the conditions
it approves are a deep loam, rather moist, and
some shade. It is probable that with the Hepatica,
as with many other whimsy plants, the mischief
is done after the flowering is over, during the
hot weather while the roots are building up the
next year’s fabric or taking their annual
rest. A border which is an ideal place for blooming
in April may be a torrid zone, a mere death-trap
in a dry July. If the Hepatica fails after some
reasonable attempts at persuasion, it should be
given up and attention devoted to more grateful
subjects. Where it thrives it should be freely
planted between July and October. It should not
be put in too deep; the leaves, or the remains
of stem fibres, etc., will indicate the proper
level. Once established, be chary of meddling
with it, as small plants are ineffective, and
the full effect is only produced by broad clumps.
A good top-dressing of light compost, leaf-mould
and wood-ashes, should be scattered about the
crowns in October. The best-known kinds are H.
triloba, blue, white and pink, both double and
single (the double blue being rare and expensive).
The pink is by no means so pretty as the blue,
which has a good deal of the heavenly tinge of
the Apennine anemone. H. angulosa resembles tribola,
but the flowers are much larger, sometimes two