Ballard's Variety Hepatica Hepatica × media 'Ballardii'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
hepatica 'Ballardii'


The plant known as Hepatica 'Ballardii' showcases a charming and delicate appearance, noted for its beautiful floral display. It produces attractive flowers that have a soothing shade, typically in a pastel hue that captures the attention of any onlooker. Each flower is composed of several petal-like sepals, emanating a form that is at once simple yet sophisticated. The blooms rise above the foliage on slender, wiry stems, presenting themselves with a subtle grace. Below these alluring flowers, the leaves of Hepatica 'Ballardii' contribute further to its overall beauty. The foliage is comprised of distinct, lobed leaves, which have a leathery texture and may showcase a variegated pattern with variegated tones that provide a striking contrast against the soft colors of the blooms. The plant's leaves, which emerge during or after the blooming period, remain attractive throughout the season, offering a continuous display of greenery. Additionally, the leaves from the previous year often persist through the winter, providing interest even in the colder months. Overall, Hepatica 'Ballardii' exudes a woodland charm, with its combination of dainty flowers and ornamental leaves creating a display that is both refined and enchanting, making it a delightful addition to any garden setting where it can add a touch of tranquility and natural beauty.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Ballard's Hepatica, Hybrid Hepatica, Ballard's Liverleaf.

    • Common names

      Hepatica × media 'Ballardii'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Liverleaf is not commonly known to be toxic to humans. There is limited information available about its toxicity; however, it is generally considered safe and does not commonly cause poisoning when touched or ingested. As with any plant, individual allergies are still possible, and it's always best to handle plants with care and not consume any part of plants not known to be edible.

    • To pets

      Liverleaf is not known to be toxic to pets, including cats and dogs. There are no widely reported cases of poisoning from pets ingesting this plant. As with any non-food plant, ingestion could potentially cause mild stomach upset simply due to the novelty of ingestion, but liverleaf does not contain known toxins that would cause serious harm or poisoning symptoms in pets. It's always wise to monitor pets and prevent them from consuming non-food plants as a precaution.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 inches (15 cm)

    • Spread

      9 inches (23 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: The Hepatica × media 'Ballardii', also known as the Hepatica, features attractive flowers that enhance the visual appeal of gardens and landscapes.
    • Spring Interest: Blooming in early spring, the Hepatica heralds the coming of warmer weather and adds early-season color to the garden.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, Hepaticas require minimal care, making them suitable for busy gardeners or those preferring low-maintenance landscapes.
    • Drought Tolerance: The plant is relatively drought-tolerant, thus it's able to withstand periods without water once it's well-established, which can be particularly beneficial in drier climates or during water restrictions.
    • Tolerates Various Soil Types: Hepatica is adaptable to various soil conditions, although it prefers well-drained soil, this adaptability can reduce the need for soil amendments.
    • Shade Tolerance: As a woodland understory plant, Hepatica performs well in shady areas where other plants might struggle, making it an excellent choice for shaded gardens.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The early flowers can provide a nectar source for pollinators like bees at a time when few other food sources are available.
    • Compact Size: Its small size makes it suitable for rock gardens, borders, and smaller garden spaces without the worry of it overcrowding other plants.
    • Seasonal Ground Cover: Hepatica can serve as a seasonal ground cover, spreading slowly and providing a carpet of foliage and flowers in the spring.
    • Pairing with Other Spring Bloomers: The plant can be paired with other spring bloomers to create a succession of blooms and extended interest in the garden.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Garden photography subject: Due to its early-spring bloom time and delicate flowers, Hepatica 'Ballardii' is often used by garden photographers looking to capture the rebirth of the garden season.
    • Art inspiration: The intricate details and vibrant colors of Hepatica flowers can inspire artists to create paintings, illustrations, and other artwork.
    • Educational tool: Botany teachers might use Hepatica 'Ballardii' to explain plant genetics to students, as it is a hybrid plant.
    • Wedding decoration: Freshly cut Hepatica flowers can be used in springtime wedding bouquets or table arrangements for their subtle beauty and early season availability.
    • Theme gardens: Hepatica 'Ballardii' can be used in thematic gardens, such as fairy or woodland gardens, due to its delicate appearance and preference for shade.
    • Culinary presentation: While not edible, the flowers can be used as a non-toxic garnish to add a splash of color to springtime dishes.
    • Craft projects: Dried Hepatica flowers can be used in various crafts, such as in homemade potpourris or pressed flower art.
    • Symbolic gift: As a spring flower, Hepatica 'Ballardii' can be given as a symbol of hope and renewal.
    • Animating nature scenes: The early bloom of Hepatica 'Ballardii' can provide a realistic backdrop for animators or filmmakers creating scenes of springtime.
    • Bee garden addition: Hepatica 'Ballardii' can be included in gardens designed to attract and support early-season pollinators like bees.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Hepatica is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Hepatica is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Hepatica x media 'Ballardii', commonly known as just Hepatica, often blooms early in spring, sometimes even pushing through snow. Its ability to emerge and thrive after harsh conditions makes it a symbol of resilience.
    • Hope: With its early bloom time, Hepatica signifies hope and the promise of renewal that comes with the onset of spring after the long winter months.
    • Confidence: The plant’s bold colors, which can range from blue to purple, are said to embody confidence, representing self-assurance and trust in one's own abilities.
    • Protection: In traditional folk medicine, Hepatica has been used to treat liver disorders. Its name, derived from ‘hepar’, the Greek word for liver, links it to themes of protection and healing.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Ballard's Hepatica should be watered thoroughly whenever the soil feels dry to the touch, which might be around once a week, but frequency can vary based on environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. When watering, gently pour water directly onto the soil until it begins to drain from the bottom of the pot, ensuring the plant gets an even amount of hydration typically ranging from half a pint to a pint of water at a time. During the active growing season in spring and fall, keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged; reduce watering in the winter when the plant is dormant. Be mindful of the plant's fragile roots and avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    Ballard's Hepatica thrives in partial shade with some morning sun or dappled sunlight throughout the day. The ideal location would be a north-facing or east-facing window where it can receive bright but indirect light. Too much direct sunlight can scorch the foliage, whereas too little light can cause the plant to become leggy and affect its blooming.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Ballard's Hepatica prefers a cool to moderate temperature range, thriving between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant can survive temperatures as low as the upper 20s Fahrenheit but should be protected from harsh frosts. To encourage flowering, a period of colder winter temperatures, not dipping below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, is beneficial.

  • scissorsPruning

    Ballard's Hepatica does not require extensive pruning. Deadhead spent flowers after blooming to encourage further blooms and maintain the plant's appearance. If necessary, trim away any dead or damaged foliage to keep the plant healthy. The best time for pruning is immediately after flowering in late spring or early summer.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Liverleaf should be rich, well-draining, with a mix of loam, sand, and leaf mold or compost. A slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.0 to 7.0 is optimal for Liverleaf.

  • plantRepotting

    Liverleaf should be repotted every 2-3 years or when it outgrows its current pot to refresh the soil and promote good health.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Liverleaf thrives in moderate to high humidity levels, between 50-70%, which mimic its natural woodland habitat.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Use bright, indirect light and moist, well-draining soil for Liverleaf.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Liverleaf in dappled shade with rich, moist soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Hepatica × media 'Ballardii', also known as Ballard's Hepatica, begins its life cycle when its seeds are dispersed, often by ants through myrmecochory, and germinate in suitable moist woodland soil. The seedlings establish a root system and send up small, lobed leaves, which may persist through winter as they are semi-evergreen. In the spring, the mature plants produce attractive flowers, usually a deep blue or purple, before the canopy trees overhead fully leaf out and shade the forest floor. After pollination, often aided by early spring insects, the flowers develop into dry fruits which then release seeds to complete the cycle. Throughout the growing season, Ballard’s Hepatica undergoes vegetative growth, expanding its leaves and sometimes forming clumps by vegetative reproduction. The plant then enters a period of dormancy in late fall as temperatures drop, resuming growth again the following spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Hepatica × media 'Ballardii', commonly known as Hepatica, is often propagated by division. The ideal time for dividing Hepatica is in late summer to early fall, once the flowering has ceased and the plant is entering its dormancy period. To propagate by division, carefully lift the parent plant from the ground, ensuring as much of the root system is intact as possible. Using a sharp knife or spade, cleanly divide the clump into smaller sections, each possessing at least one shoot and a portion of the root system. These sections can then be immediately replanted in well-drained soil at a depth where the crowns are just at or slightly below the soil surface. Water the newly planted sections well, providing about an inch (2.54 cm) of water, and maintain consistent moisture without waterlogging the soil until the plants are established.