Saturday, December 1, 2012

Green in Winter: Sharp-lobed Hepatica

With its distinctive three-lobed leaves mottled with purple, Sharp-lobed Hepatica gives the winter explorer something extraordinary to admire. This plant has a special affinity for steep, wooded slopes on clay soil, but it occurs in a variety of woodlands. Long known as Hepatica acutiloba, it is now called Hepatica nobilis var. acutaPhotographed on December 24, 2011 at Potato Creek State Park near North Liberty, Indiana.

     "We must go out and re-ally ourselves to Nature every day. We must take root, and send out some little fibre at least, even every winter day. I am sensible that I am imbibing health when I open my mouth to the wind." Henry David Thoreau, Journal, December 29, 1856. 

When it flowers in March and April, the plant looks like this. Flower color can range from white to pink to purple, and many shades in between.

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