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This charming North American woodland flower is common throughout rich, deciduous forests from Maine to Manitoba and Georgia and Alabama. A similar native species, H. americana, has round leaf lobes. The leaves were once thought to have medicinal value for liver ailments, hence the name Liverwort. In 1793, Jean Lady Skipwith listed Hepaticas to grow from seed in the gardens of her south central Virginia estate, Prestwould. Bernard McMahon of Philadelphia and Henry Middleton of Charleston, SC noted Hepaticas in the early 1800s.
This early spring-flowering perennial wildflower grows 4 to 8-inches high and wide and produces delicate white to purple or blue flowers above thick, evergreen, three-lobed leaves; new leaves appear after the flowers. It thrives in rich, well-drained, woodsy soil that is slightly alkaline. Established plants will re-seed and spread.