This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Anemone Hepatica. Hepatica, or Noble Liverwort.
Calyx nullus. Petala 6. 9. Semina plura.
ANEMONE Hepatica foliis trilobis integerrimis. Lin. Syst. Vegetab. p. 424. Sp. Pl. p. 758. Fl. Suec. n. 480.
TRIFOLIUM hepaticum flore simplici et pleno. Bauh. Pin. 339.
Red Hepatica or noble Liverwort. Park. Parad. p. 226.
Dillenius, Miller, and some other authors, make a distinct genus of the Hepatica: Linnaeus unites it with the Anemone, observing, that though it differs from the Anemone in having a calyx, yet that calyx is at some distance from the flower, and partakes more of the Nature of an Involucrum, which is not uncommon to the Anemonies.
The Hepaticas, as Parkinson observes, flower soon after the winter Hellebore, "and making their pride appear in winter, are the more welcome early guests."
It is found wild in its single state, with red, blue, and white flowers, in the woods and shady mountains of Sweden, Germany, and Italy; the red variety with double flowers is the one most commonly cultivated in our gardens; the double blue is also not unfrequent; the single white is less common; and the double white Miller never saw, yet admits that it may exist spontaneously, or be produced from seed: Parkinson mentions a white variety with red threads or stamina.
According to Miller, this plant delights in a loamy soil, and in an eastern position where it may have only the morning sun: the single sorts are easily raised from seed; the double, increased by parting the roots, which ought to be done in March when they are in bloom; they should not be divided into very small heads: these plants, if often removed and parted, are apt to die, but left undisturbed for many years, they will thrive exceedingly, and become very large roots.