("liver," from shape of leaf)

Family, Crowfoot. Color, pale blue or violet, sometimes nearly white or with a delicate trace of pink. Petals, none. Sepals, petal-like, colored, 6 to 12; directly beneath is an involucre of 3 small, roundish, calyx - like leaves. Leaves, from the root, purple or mottled with purple, 3-lobed, heart-shaped at base, roundish in outline, leathery, evergreen.

Liverleaf (Hepatica triloba)

Liverleaf (Hepatica triloba)

When the plant first comes the brown leaves of the last summer are all the foliage it has, the new leaves appearing later than the flower. Buds and stem very hairy. One of our best-loved flowers, partly because one of the first. Mr. Gibson considers it the earliest. He says: "When I picked my arbutus in February, and when Burroughs and Doctor Abbott gathered their claytonias, the latter in February, we could doubtless all have found our hepatica, too; and I am equally confident that my early blooms of rock-flower and everlasting were never so early as to have stolen a march on the liverworts. If the open winter lures any wood-blossom to 'open its eye,' it will surely be the liverwort, even as this flower occasionally anticipates the spring in ordinary winter weather. I have before me a letter from an authority who picked them under a foot of snow on December 9th, and this, too, in a winter not notably mild."

Common all over the Atlantic States in light woods. (See illustration, p. 309.)

H. acutiloba differs from the preceding in having more pointed leaf-lobes, 3 or 5 in number. Whole plant softly hairy, 4 to 9 inches high.

Same range as preceding.