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FEB 15, 2006 HEPATICA
N. Walker

Hepatica, Hepatica acutiloba is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in the Spring. Small white or bluish flowers on slender fuzzy stems emerge from leaf litter. The flowers have 6 to 8 "petals" actually sepals and are about 3/4 inch in diameter. The centers are greenish yellow. Remains of the previous year's leaves may be found. These are 3 lobed and brown in color, vaguely resembling a liver, hence the alternate name, Liver Leaf Hepatica. The lobes of the acutiloba species found in the Huntsville area are pointed. After flowering is over the new green 3-lobed leaves will develop and will be seen the rest of the growing season.