Plant of the Week! It’s a little bit early now, but soon we will be seeing native ephemeral wildflowers emerging from last year’s leaf litter. One of the plants you might be lucky enough to encounter is Hepatica (Anemone acutiloba or A. americana). The two species here in Wisconsin are Sharp-lobed Hepatica and Round-lobed Hepatica, the main difference being the bluntness or “pointy-ness” of the three lobes of the leaf. The first thing you might notice about this plant, other than the beautiful delicate flowers, is how furry it is! Dense, downy trichomes cover the plant and are very noticeable as it first emerges. This protects the plant against the cold and wind. Another fascinating characteristic about this wildflower is how it reproduces: The capsule that holds the seeds also contains an oily structure that attracts ants. The ants take the seed capsules to their nests, essentially planting the seeds as they do. Start looking for this spring species in high quality woodlands next month.