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Video: Liverwort Noble - Common Coppice
Liverwort - a flower that blooms after the snow melts
In early spring, when the remnants of snow are still lying, small lilac flowers of the liverwort - blue copses - are already making their way through the rags of last year's foliage. Her blue eyes appear on forest edges and thawed patches in the forest. This is a lively hello to spring - its most vigorous omen.
Liverwort is a squat rhizome perennial 10-15 cm high. It belongs to the family of buttercups (Ranunculaceae). There are six species in the genus, common in the temperate forests of the northern hemisphere - Europe, Asia and North America.
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The typical species is the liverwort or common coppice, a widespread European species. It is also called windmill, oak anemone, pure anemone, uterus, curls, Trojan horse (the leaf is divided into three lobes), blue snowdrops are our original names.
In ancient times, the copse was recognized as a remedy for liver diseases: its leaves resemble the liver in shape. Hence the Latin name "hepatics", which comes from the Greek "hepar" - liver. The Russian name "liverwort" is close to the scientific one. The liverwort is a snowdrop. The people call any flower a snowdrop that blooms immediately after the snow melts (different types of anemones, scilla, etc.). Sometimes the copse for some reason is called "violet", although it is not even a relative of violets
Asiatic liverwort is also known.
All types of sandboxes have a lot in common. They are characterized by early spring bloom in May and early June for three to four weeks. The external similarity of these cute plants is reflected in the interesting leaves, flowers and rhizomes. Their leaves are leathery split-lobed, dark green at the base with a heart, on long petioles, wintering under the snow. In general, they form a wide triangle, cut into three lobes - lobes. The upper side of the leaves is green, the lower one is purple. In a young state, it is wrapped, like the petioles, with soft hairs, and the entire leaf looks curled, shaggy.
The liverwort stems are brown arrows that have grown from the axils of last year or from the corners of the lower, underground leaves. Leaves also form basal rosettes. When the first lovely azure flowers of the liverwort appear near the unmelted snow, this plant will still be with the old, last year's leaves. Faded, worn leaves perfectly emphasize the youthful freshness of the flower. It is possible that the purpose of the preserved old leaves is not at all for highlighting flowering stems, but for their heating, since the dark surface of old leaves retains heat more than fresh, shiny ones. For snowdrops, any greenhouse is not superfluous. After the liverwort has faded, the plant acquires new leaves. Simultaneously with flowering, old leaves gradually die off and new ones grow back.
The flowers of the liverwort are single, 2 cm in diameter, on bare peduncles 10 cm high. There can be from 6 to 10 tepals (petals). One adult plant develops from 15 to 50 peduncles. The fruit is a multi-nut with an appendage rich in oil.
The liverwort has blue, light blue, bluish-purple flowers. Less common are white and pink. Terry forms with bright pink, purple petals are known.
Asiatic liverwort is distinguished by white flowers and leaves dying for the winter.
If you look closely at the flower of this cute plant, it is not difficult to notice numerous spirally arranged stamens with white or pinkish filaments. The stigma of the flower is capitate, the fruit is oblong, hairy with a transparent appendage at the base, in which a drop of oil is poured - bait for ants. The flowers of the liverwort are open upward like raised bowls. This arrangement contributes to the preservation of pollen, which spills out inside the flower. No wonder bees and other nectar lovers often sit on a dense brush of pistils. Part of the bee's pollen is taken to the hive to feed the larvae. Unlike other melliferous plants, the liverwort is endowed with such an abundance of pollen that it is enough for both gourmets and for their own fertilization needs.
The liverwort stamens do not mature at the same time. First, the extreme ones begin to dust, then the middle ones. By the time the middle stamens are ripe, the petals are elongated, and all the stamens in the evening will be protected by the petals.
At the beginning of flowering, when only the extreme stamens ripen, the plant needs insects, later it does without them - self-pollination is possible. Each flower on a stem lasts up to eight days. At the bottom, it has a wrapper of three healing leaves that form something like a cup.
The rhizome of the liverwort is brown, short and dense, equipped at the top with scales - underground leaves.
Quite long fibrous roots extend from the rhizome. Their length depends on the density of the soil. On rocky soil, the roots of the liverwort are long, on dense soil, they are shallow, fibrous. Each year, the rhizome stretches upward, releasing a new circle of adventitious roots that capture the upper layer of the forest litter: how many root circles are the plant's years. And the larger the intervals between the circles, the higher, which means there was a layer of forest litter.
All liverworts are winter- and drought-resistant, unpretentious plants in culture.
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Reproduction of the liverwort
Although the liverwort has a lot of seeds - from 20 to 60 per shoot, seed reproduction is difficult, since the seeds fall unripe in the first half of June.
Freshly harvested seeds are sown in open ground before winter. Unsustained shoots appear in spring. Real leaves on them are formed the next year, and they bloom only in the third year.
The second method of seed germination consists in two-stage stratification: one month at a temperature of 15 … 20 ° C and 2-3 months at a temperature of 2 … 5 ° C, seeds germinate together at a temperature of 15 … 22 ° C. Seedlings develop quickly, and flowering occurs in the second or third year. At the end of summer, the underground stem, the rhizome, acquires special buds. With their help, the plant propagates vegetatively. Vegetative propagation by buds is possible in early spring or after the summer regrowth of leaves. Liverworts easily reproduce by dividing the bushes in August-September.
Plants transferred from the forest, even soon after flowering, take root well.
Woods prefer slightly acidic or neutral, fertile, loose soils and partial shade. They are able to tolerate significant shading. Transplants and rejuvenation do not require many years. They are moisture-loving, but cannot stand stagnant water. These plants are hardy without shelter.
Use of liverworts
This is the most beautiful flower in early spring. A bouquet of blue woods, brought from the forest and placed in the room, is a great aesthetic pleasure.
All liverworts are very good as ornamental plants in the form of spots and groups under the canopy of trees and shrubs in shady places. Also used for cutting. They are popular in spring flower gardens, rockeries, mixborders.
It is known that in the buttercup family, many plants have acrid sap. Here is the liverwort - a poisonous herb. The buttercup family is fierce, cruel. The poisonous sap reliably protects plants from destruction by animals. Livestock do not eat such herbs, even from hay. Only sometimes the liverwort is nibbled by sheep and goats. Other tetrapods avoid touching her. The leaves and rhizomes of the liverwort irritate the skin and can even cause abscesses. In the above-ground areas of the grass, scientists have discovered a pungent taste of camphor - anemonal, the decay product of which crystallizes into a substance that acts as a heart poison. There are saponins in the roots of this plant.
The liverwort was previously found to be healing. "It is used for fever, cough, scrofula, headache and paint" (Botanical Dictionary of N.I. Annenkov, published 100 years ago).
Take care of this sweet grass. Do not knit bouquets from it. As a memory of a warm spring day, it is enough to take just the stalk of this snowdrop flower and put it in a glass of water.
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