My first introduction to Hepaticas came when we moved to this house and I discovered them in the garden. I was instantly smitten with their graphic leaves and flowers that make an impact despite their tiny size. It's a plant that is lovely at every stage as these images show. Most of the Hepaticas in my garden are just making an appearance. But the warmer days that are forecast should make them sit up and take notice.
I've been growing Hepatica acutiloba 'Silver Leaf' (below) for the last half dozen years, mainly because of its large specked leaf.
Even without their beautiful leaves, the flowers make a strong showing especially against the browns of last fall's leaf litter. When open, the flowers are about the size of the nail on my index finger.
Even when the flowers are still closed the Hepatica is a charmer, though you will have to get down on your knees to really appreciate it. Mark was stretched out on the ground to get most of these shots1
The plant above and below is the native round-lobed Hepatica americana. You can get an idea of the size of the flowers if you compare the buds with the needles of the shrubby Yew in the background.
Most of our native Hepaticas are white or shades of lightish blue. Hepatica nobilis 'European Pink' is screaming magenta. This beauty comes from Ellen Horning of the late Seneca Hill via Plant Delights Nursery.
Hepatica maxima is unusual in that its leaves can be up to four inches wide. The leaves are a bright Granny Smith apple green, shiny and with a white fuzzy underside — much brighter than my other Hepaticas. A mature clump can be 18 inches in diameter. This was planted in the spring of 2014 and I am hoping for great things.