Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Small Flowers From A Small Island

Hepatica insularis is a tiny hepatica which comes from an equally tiny corner of the world; the southern tip of Korea, and mainly from an adjacent island just off that coast (Cheju Island); hence the species name "insularis". Cheju Island is apparently a remarkable place botanically, with over 1800 endemic species; the island is anchored by an old volcano and is said to be influenced by both maritime and continental climates, plus having sub-alpine areas, so it has numerous microclimates in a small area. Hepatica insularis is a unique hepatica, being deciduous here, yet surprisingly it is always the first hepatica to bloom, well before its new leaves emerge. I have it growing in an out of the way spot underneath a rhododendron, and am always surprised (and pleased) to see its small, pale flowers rising up out of the leaf litter in March. It looks improbably frail and defenseless to be blooming when snow flakes are still drifting down, and it is very endearing.
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Comments:
What a sweet little flower .. yes .. it looks delicate .. but it must be tenacious to bloom in harsh conditions too !
Joy
 
A darling little bloom. :) It just says "Spring!"
 
ooh, they're so cute.

Arlene,
East Bremerton florist
 
I had only heard the name hepatica, but had no idea that they were so pretty (and IA hardy!) as those you've posted recently! I'd be interested in seeing more of the plant, so guess I should do some research on them. We got interested in Hellebores a few years ago and have about five planted in the woodland section of the garden. They sure seem to be slow growers, but often remain green all winter (when they're not buried, that is). They're looking happier now, so with any luck we'll have a few more blooms this year. Do you have Hellebores in your garden?
 
Joy... it seems to be tough as nails, in spite of its appearance.

Nancy... I'm hoping this warm weekend will start popping stuff open everywhere; we're still pretty retarded around here (the garden, that is) :o)

Arlene... I'll post a picture or two later in the spring of some of the hepatica leaves, which are quite neat also.

IVG... I've got lots of hellebores, and am getting lots of seedlings now; don't know how they will turn out.

Don
 
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