Sunday, August 24, 2008

If You're Not Growing This Plant... You Should.

I suppose (rather, I KNOW) I can seem a bit of a nag when it comes to telling people what they ought to be growing in their gardens, but if you're not growing Hepatica acutiloba (now Hepatica nobilis var. acuta), then you're just losing out, and I mean to change that.
I don't think there is a single other plant in our garden that gives so much in return for so little required care... all it asks is a modest little shady spot, and to be left alone. Right now it's leathery, shiny green foliage is looking great, and as the gloom and cold of fall descend on us, that foliage will turn to a deep plum color, and it will persist all winter, until the plant puts up clouds of fuzzy flower stalks in spring.
We're at the western edge of this little hepatica's natural range, and it's much less common here than the round-lobed hepatica. I've seen it said that acutiloba prefers growing in the wetter ravine bottoms, but can't vouch for that personally, as I seem to see it more on the shady north sides of hills. It's flowers range from white to pink to lavender, and in the woods I see some really stunning colors, and leaves that can be quite variegated.
I have my plant growing in a spot so shady that the hostas there are dying out, yet the hepatica just gets bigger and better every year. So, grow it in your garden (or I'll hold my breath)!

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Sounds like a worthy plant for a shade garden! I used to live in IC, but didn't have a garden then, or even the desire for one. Ah, youth!

Happy late summer,

is it a big spreader? from your description it sounds lovely, and we area always looking for deep shade color.
That's the type of recommendation I need. It doesn't look very tall. I'm going to "check it out!" (Meaning: order it!) Thanks! :-)
Whoa! It's harder than I thought, trying to track down this plant for sale. And I'm running into some odd "alleys" when I'm faced with such things as Spring Beauties, etc. Hmmm. I'll keep looking.
OK...but will it grow in Zone 4??
I wish that I could, but I can't so I shan't. Anemone hepatica is my all time favoutite flower. Acid soil, even if I could get one, is a death warrent for it. I've had one measly example in a pot that I regularly douse with dolomite. I've had it for 8 yrs with nary a flower, but I persist in hope.

Please don't hold your breath on my account as no hepaticas are available in Australia any more since our specialist nurseryman died.
Well I am nothing if not good at following directions. I'm on it. It's on my list now.
Karen... you were at the Univ ?

Sky... it stays in a tight clump, but my clump is now about two foot across.

Shady... hmmm; I'd think it would be easy to find, but I guess not. Mine was a gift.

Sally... it grows way up near the Canadian border.

Megan... you'll love it.

arija... it does grow on limestone here.

Are you going to send me some? If you don't, I'll hold MY breath!


I would love to be growing Hepatica of any kind...
Ah, that's the trick? I'll hold my breath, too! ;-) ha. ?
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