Spring is finally upon us on Washington Island and it is a welcome sight. We have set upon a journey to search out the gems of the forest, or wildflowers. We begin with the sweetness of the Hepatica.
Hepatica, Anemone Acutiloba
Among the brown winter leaves and fading drifts of snow the first flowers to make their appearance are the Hepatica or more commonly known on the Island as, Mayflowers. The sepals may be pink, purple, blue or white and are found growing in clumps about 3" to 6" tall. The leaves are three-lobed that come to a point. Green leaves emerge after the plant flowers which darken with patterns of brown and purple as they mature. The flowers have a delicate fresh scent.
Some interesting facts about Hepatica:
- - They are a member of the Buttercup family
- - Hepatica, or Liverwort received it's name from it's leaves which resemble the human liver and was used as a medicinal herb to treat liver disorders.
- - Butterflies, moths, bees, flies and beetles are known pollinators.
For more information, check out Door County's Wildflowers: A Field Guide For The Curious by Frances M. Burton and Aurelia M. Stampp.