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What is Hacquetia?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2016
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Hacquetia is the genus name for a single species of perennial, Hacquetia epipactis. The genus also goes by a synonymous genus name, Dondia, although it is no longer the botanically correct reference. It is identified by its green, petals-like bracts with yellow flower centers. The perennial is native to Europe and can be particularly easy to find in the woodland areas of the Alps.

Many gardeners love to grow Hacquetia because its flowers are among the first to bloom after the winter months have passed. It grows best in moist soil that is at least partially shaded. In full bloom, it forms bright colored clumps of flowers, making it a nice addition to woodland or rock gardens. Gardeners should be vigilant, however, as snails and slugs may try to feed off of the new growth during the early spring months.

Hacquetia may be ideal for people who enjoy gardening in cooler climates. It blooms early, but even more importantly, it can live during the cold winter months without much attention. In fact, some gardeners have reported that clumps of these flowers can live for well over a decade.

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Gardeners may be interested in the specific growing information related to Hacquetia epipactis. The leaves of this perennial are emerald in color and the flowers have yellow centers and green bracts. Interestingly, in this species of perennial, the flower portion is the yellow center alone. Although the green bracts surrounding the yellow center look like petals, they are not.

The rounded leaves of Hacquetia epipactis can grow to 3 inches (about 7.6 cm) long and are comprised of three wedges with teeth-like edges. The flowers grow in dense clumps and can be about 2 inches (5.1 cm) wide. The plant, as a whole, can grow from about 2 inches (5.1 cm) to 6 inches (15.2 cm) tall and 6 inches (15.2 cm) to 12 inches (30.5 cm) wide, depending on the amount of flower growth.

Although the plants can drop their own seeds and grow new clumps, many gardeners may prefer a more strategic placement of their new clumps of Hacquetia. The seeds also can be easily sown in containers. In the spring, the seedlings or young plants can be divided and planted outdoors.

Not all gardening stores sell Hacquetia seeds or plants. Generally, a gardening store that specializes in alpine plants will have the best supply. In addition, some on-line gardening stores may be able to ship the plants to interested gardeners.

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