The Content Of The Article:
- Other varieties
- Diseases and pests
- flower Color
- Flowering time (month)
- March to April
- single flower
- leaf color
- leaf shape
- Ornamental or utility value
- Nectar or pollen plant
- native wild plant
- ground cover
- group planting
- under planting
- growth habit
- horst making
- carpet making
- partially shaded to shady
- sandy to loamy
- soil moisture
- moderately dry to fresh
- PH value
- alkaline to neutral
- nutritional requirements
- garden style
- natural garden
- forest garden
The hepatica (Hepatica nobilis) belongs to the family of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) and is a native forest shrub with sky-blue flowers, which is under protection in Germany: This means that it must not be picked or excavated at the natural site. The unusual name derives from the shape of the leaves. In the Middle Ages was allegedly closed by the liver-like shape of the leaves that liverwort has a liver-healing effect - but this is only partially true. Their small, blue flowers sprout from late February to April between dried leaves and broken branches from the forest floor. On a spring walk in the beech forest you have certainly encountered the native common liverwort ever. Rarely, white and pink specimens are to be discovered in the forest. In garden centers, however, there are a variety of unusual varieties.
The low, winter-green shrubs form small, compact carpets and grow up to 15 centimeters high.
The three to six centimeters long, medium green and shiny leaves are kidney-shaped and lobed. The underside is hairy and violet colored.
The broad shape of the leaves (here: Hepatica nobilis var. Pyrenaica) is reminiscent of the human liver
From March to April, the liverwort shows its most beautiful side. The cup-shaped and hermaphrodite flowers are two to three centimeters in size and consist of three green sepals and six to nine inflorescences. The flowers are terminal and arranged radiärsymmetrisch. The flower colors range from the typical blue violet of the species over pink to white in the varieties.
The hepatica forms after flowering an inflorescence in the form of a collective fruit.
If you also want to house the petite plant in the garden, you should bear in mind that it demands forest-like light and soil conditions. The liverwort likes relatively shady places under bushes and trees with slightly damp ground in winter and spring, as well as drought in summer. You can easily tell if your liverwort accepts your chosen location. If it does not feel well, the leaves quickly become spotty with dry, brown spots, mainly on the leaf margin.
A calcareous, humus rich, moderately dry to fresh, well drained soil is best suited. The liverwort thrives in neutral to minimally alkaline soils.
In order for the small forest dwellers to come into their own, liverwort should be planted so that they can form a larger carpet unhindered. When planting, make sure to loosen heavy soils with a little sand, so that no waterlogging can form later. If you want to cover a larger area with the liverwort you should plant the shrubs relatively densely - 24 to 26 plants per square meter are then ideal. Important when planting is that you put the plants in the soil as quickly as possible after purchase, because their roots dry out quickly.
At the right location liverwort grows most undisturbed, in peace and quiet and need hardly any care. In autumn they should only be covered with a bit of bark mulch. Falling autumn leaves can therefore lie easily and serves the shade shrubs as a protective blanket. The old autumn leaves are only removed shortly before the new flower.
Liverwort flowers are great for planting under trees or for shady corners in the garden and can be easily combined with other shade plants.
In the nurseries not only the European Leberblümchen is available, but also the Asian one. Particularly sophisticated in flowering and also very expensive to buy are the Japanese liverwort (Hepatica nobilis var. Japonica).For example, the variety 'Yamahibiki' costs around 250 euros per plant! But it is also even more expensive: Genuine Leberblümchen collectors pay sums for special breeds and rarities from Japan, for which one could also buy a small car. It should be noted that some of these Asian treasures only thrive in the cool and temperate conservatory.
Start photo gallery
Liverwort: Small Garden Jewels (11)
Hepatica nobilis var. Japonica 'Yamahibiki'
Hepatica nobilis var. Acuta in white
Hepatica nobilis var. Pubescens in red tones
Hepatica nobilis var. Insularis in pink
Hepatica nobilis var. Japonica 'Tennyonomai'
Hepatica nobilis var. Japonica 'Harukaze'
Hepatica nobilis var. Japonica 'Tenzan'
Hepatica nobilis var. Japonica 'Taeka'
Hepatica nobilis var. Nobilis 'Rubra Plena'
Hepatica nobilis var. Obtusa in pink
Hepatica transsilvanica 'Elison Spence'
Liverwort can be propagated either by division or seeding. If the perennials are divided, the best time to do so is immediately after flowering. The split plants need well-developed roots, so you should only share adult specimens. These, too, grow very slowly again.
Diseases and pests
The liverwort is a robust shade shrub and hardly susceptible to diseases and pests. However, it reacts sensitively to persistent waterlogging. Then rotting roots and leaves are the result. Therefore, pay attention to a well-drained soil.