Oct. 15, 2019

Hepatica

"Blue as the heaven it gazes at, Startling the loiterer in the naked groves With unexpected beauty; for the time Of blossoms and green leaves is yet afar." Netje Blanchan in Wildflowers, 1925. The flyleaf of my copy notes it belonged to Mrs. Wallace H. Smith in 1925. Wallace was brother to my grandfather. Tradition! Another tradition with these has been medicinal use. Once we believed God made the leaves three-lobed to tell us they are good for liver disease. Over time they've been used for many ailments, in many cultures. Perhaps the strongest tradition of all is just admiring this earliest of spring blossoms. In this view, it is surrounded by leaves of trout lily, trillium, leek, toothwort and spring beauty, observing tradition and waiting their turn. Perhaps the weakest tradition is the color, which freely varies from blue through purple and pink to white.