Hepatica henryi has small white flowers, very occasionally pale pink or pale blue, flowering February-March. The small rounded green leaves are scalloped, and usually hairless. The underside is a pale redish violet. the fresh young foliage is often a beautiful shade of bronze. A compact evergreen hepatica. Height 4-12cm. Ideal in the Alpine House, but well worth trying in the rock garden.

The Chinese hepaticas require an extremely sheltered position if grown outside. Plant on a cool, well-drained slope in a light ‘fluffy’ soil rich in leaf mould. It is essential that they are exposed to early spring sunshine, but they must receive plenty of shade immediately after flowering and especially during the heat of the summer. They will thrive under deciduous trees and shrubs or in crevices in the rock garden, performing best where there is good humidity. They respond well to a top-dressing of leaf-mould in autumn and an annual feed of fish, blood and bone in late winter. Remove old leaves just before flowering. Many enthusiasts prefer to grow the Chinese hepaticas in clay pots in the protected environment of an alpine house or poly-tunnel. Benefits from the addition of a little dolomite lime in the compost. Height 4-12cm

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