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July 14, 2011

Mystery Plant of the Week (Identified as Hepatica)

Filed under: Outdoors — Marcus @ 8:32 pm

So I am getting quite the collection of plants I have taken pictures of that I haven’t identified yet, so I think I am going to start posting some of them up as I get a chance.  The last couple I have posted people seemed to really enjoy trying to figure out what they were (And I got answers to all of them I have posted so far!).

I took pictures of this plant on November 6th while hiking out at the Allegheny National Forest with Paul and Jess.  This looked like a plant that should be edible, and I figured it would be an easy find because it was a fairly unique leaf.  I had figured something in the clover or sorrel families, however I made two passed through my wild edibles books and some sites I use online and came up with nothing.

This plant was unique because it had such large leaves for what seemed like a grass like plant, also the fact it had the three distinct lobes on each leaf.

Anyone know what this one is?  Unfortunately I haven’t run into it again this year to see if it flowers or anything else distinct, all I have are the three pictures I took last year.

Update 7/14/2011: That was quick, I got an answer on Facebook that this was Hepatica (Also known as liverleaf or liverwort).  After doing a quick search I can easily confirm that is correct.  From looking at pictures online it appears that Hepatica has beautiful flowers very early in the spring, I will have to keep an eye out for them.  Also as I always am looking for wild edibles, I checked up on this one, historically it was used for liver issues, but that is more to do with early medicine using plants that look like the part that was sick, and since the leaf on this plant has three parts, the same as our livers, it was used to treat liver issues.   Thanks Beth for correctly identifying this plant for me!

To see a nice writeup about Hepatic, please check out the following link: http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/hepatica_nobilis.shtml

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