HEPATICA

Closely related to anemones, these are rockery plants of great beauty, by no means difficult to grow although they take time to setde down. They prefer a cool, leafy soil and are particularly happy under a north wall. If the ground has a high lime content they will often do well in a fairly sunny position, otherwise give some shade. The star-shaped blooms appear in February and March on plants about 6 in. high. They are followed by dark green leaves which remain for the rest of the year. There are blue, bluish-purple, pink, red and white forms, usually single, the doubles being rare and difficult to keep. Increase by division in autumn. Self-sown seedlings sometimes occur. Loddon Blue is a pleasing light blue.

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