A Highly Desirable Hepatica

Hepatica japonica seedling

Hepatica japonica seedling

This is a beautiful little Hepatica seedling that I obtained from Thimble Farms last year.  The purple stamens offset nicely the light pink in the flowers.  Apparently I was not the only one to treasure these flowers.  I returned from Boston on Tuesday night and took these pictures.  By Wednesday morning they were all gone — every one.

Hepatica japonica seedling flowers before they disappeared

Hepatica japonica seedling flowers before they disappeared

I can only presume rabbits since they have been the main pest in my yard this year.  I’ve now sprinkled the hepaticas with anti-rabbit stuff but who was to guess that a member of the ranunculaceae would be eaten.  I’ve been growing Hepaticas for ten years and never seen a one bitten by any animal.  All the buttercup family members are supposed to be bad tasting if not poisonous to animals.  This must be part of my annual test of faith as a gardener.

Other hepaticas have survived the onslaught, so maybe it was an evening binge for the rabbit and he felt sick about it the next day.

Hepatica nobilis 'Deep Red w-white'

Hepatica nobilis ‘Deep Red w-white’

Hepatica acutiloba pink

Hepatica acutiloba pink

Hepatica japonica ‘Wakakusa’

Hepatica japonica ‘Wakakusa’

This last is one of two very expensive japanese-bred imports that I got last year.  Unfortunately its blue companion did not survive the winter.  I saw a lot of heaving of the hepaticas out of the ground this year, principally the ones that had just been planted last year.  I guess the older stock has deeper roots.

One of the outstanding new acquisitions from Augis Bulbs last year was a beautiful Fritillaria.

Fritillaria stenanthera Cambridge

Fritillaria stenanthera Cambridge

I put it in an ideal spot.  Unfortunately it was the same ideal spot I used for an Adonis.  So I will hope they will share their living space like good companions.

Other spring flowers are arriving on the scene now.

Iris danfordiae

Iris danfordiae

Chionodoxa forbesii 'Pink Giant'

Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Pink Giant’

Scilla siberica 'Spring Beauty'

Scilla siberica ‘Spring Beauty’

Note the incredible blue stamens on these scilla.

Scilla siberica 'Spring Beauty'

Scilla siberica ‘Spring Beauty’

Primula vulgaris

Primula vulgaris

Draba aizoides

Draba aizoides in the Small Trough

The Peony buds are always striking coming through the soil and nothing more so that the Molly the Witch.

Paeonia mlokosewitschii emerging

Paeonia mlokosewitschii emerging

There are many daffodils and corydalis in bloom as well, but I’ll saved them for another posting.  Let me finish with the headliner in the greenhouse this week.

Calandrinia spectabilis

Calandrinia spectabilis

The calandrinia were grown from seed last year as part of the North American Rock Garden Society seed distribution.  I only just finished dividing the many seedlings this spring.

3 comments on “A Highly Desirable Hepatica

  1. rusty duck

    Stunning photographs. I must try hepaticas again. I hope the rabbits never find ‘Wakakusa’, isn’t it glorious.

  2. Rosie Nixon Perthshire Nature Photographer

    Lovely to see your hepatica flowers and all their various colours. At first I thought I’d stumbled across a Scottish Rock Garden club members blog and then realised that you’re in the USA. I photograph many rare rock garden plants at Branklyn Garden but I don’t think that I’ve seen as many different hepatica’s there as you have in your garden.

    1. jw

      Sorry for the delayed reply. You did, in fact, stumble across a Scottish Rock Garden Club member’s site even though it’s in the USA. I’m looking forward to many more variations in Hepatica as time goes on. I do think the most beautiful ones are less vigorous that some of the more common cultivars.