The liverleaf or hepatica (Hepatica nobilis) belongs to the family Ranunculaceae, genus Hepatica. The herbaceous plant, a perennial, grows to 10-20 cm in height, with one flower at the end of each hairy stem. In the wild, one plant usually has from eight to twelve stems. The flower of the hepatica generally measures 2–3 cm across in Estonia, blooming from the end of March until May. As it needs more light when in bloom it must flower before deciduous trees break into leaf, being one of the first flowering plants in the spring. It is shade-tolerant, needing light above all during the flowering season and generally growing in the shade of trees and bushes in the woods. The ideal hepatica habitat is the deciduous forest, which has lots of light in the spring but offers shade in the summer. The hepatica prefers loose humus-rich soil. It is poisonous when taken in large doses and is not recommended for use as a medicinal plant. The hepatica is not a protected species in Estonia.