The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Hepatica
Hepatica nobilis is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.10 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
The plant is poisonous in large doses[
]. The toxic principle is dissipated by heat or drying[
Damp underground in shady deciduous, usually beech, woodlands, scrub and grassland, especially on limestone[
|Pollinators||Bees, Flies, Beetles, Lepidoptera
Prefers a deep light alkaline soil with leafmould[
]. Another report says that it grows best in a deep loam or clay soil[
]. Grows well on limey woodland soils in half shade, though it also succeeds in deep shade and in full sun[
A very ornamental plant[
]. It grows well in the rock garden[
] and in the woodland[
Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible[
A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[
The leaves and flowers are astringent, demulcent, diuretic, rubefacient, tonic and vulnerary[
]. It is a mild remedy that is little used in modern herbalism, but it is sometimes employed in treating disorders of the liver and gall bladder, indigestion etc[
]. Externally, it is applied to skin diseases, slow healing cuts etc[
]. The plant should be harvested in March and April, it can also be dried for later use[
]. Use with caution[
], see notes above on toxicity.
Seed - sow in a moist soil in a shady position[
]. The stored seed requires stratification for about 3 weeks at 0 - 5°c. Germination takes 1 - 12 months at 10°c. It is probably worthwhile sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division just as the leafless plant comes into flower in late winter. Replant immediately into their permanent positions.