In a Vase on Monday: Blue Gold

These blue spring flowers are so precious, and in many parts of Germany quite rare too. So imagine my delight at finding hundreds of them in our little patch of woods this spring. I couldn’t contain myself and just had to pick some yesterday for an Easter Monday vase for Cathy‘s In a Vase on Monday meme.

Hepatica noblis


I love finding these flowers out in the countryside, especially when I get a hint of their elusive fragrance.ย  And I have tried with little success to grow them in my garden… they don’t like to be disturbed during the rest of the year though, so best to leave them up in the woods!


Since it was Easter we had the Royal Worcester egg coddlers out for our Easter brunch, so I used one as a vase afterwards… if you don’t know what egg coddlers are, they are porcelain cups with a metal screw-top lid. The inside is buttered, and an egg is broken into it. Then the lid is closed tight and the whole thing is submerged in boiling water for exactly 8 minutes – and you get a perfect boiled egg, kept warm in its pot and no messy shell to dispense with! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I think the blue of the Hepatica (Liverwort) matches this Easter card my Mum sent me so well!


This year the violets are flowering at the same time, and the colours clash terribly. Hepaticas really are much nearer to a true blue. I had a pink one once, but it has not reappeared this year, and a white one barely flowered for me. The native ones are definitely the best.


I have mentioned before how ugly I find the name… such beautiful delicate flowers are called “Liverwort” because the blotchy three-lobed leaves resemble the human liver. I would call them something more dignified, such as Blue Gold


Other common names used in various parts of Germany are (roughly translated): Gold Clover, Hazel Flower, Heart’s Joy (I like that one!), or Heaven’s Flowers.

Now pay Cathy a visit at “Rambling in the Garden” to see what she and her followers have put in their vases this week. (Cathy’s “vase” looks delicious!)


65 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Blue Gold

  1. They are exquisite ,Cathy, and to think you have them growing wild in your wood. How wonderful. I have a couple of little plants which I cherish and a pretty pink one too, but they never seed about. Some of the new Japanese hybrids are prohibitively expensive, but none are as pretty as your sky- blue native one.
    Have a wonderful Easter Monday.

    • They love the chalky soil here Chloris, and grow all along the roadsides in some places! I think I will give up on trying to cultivate them after so many failures and will just have to take more walks into the woods in spring! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. The Hepatica are a dazzling blue flower, wonderful to have growing wild. I have never heard of an egg coddler, because yours are Royal Worcester they have a local connection to me. I will have to do some research, they do sound an excellent way to cook a boiled egg.

    • I wonder if the coddlers are still made these days… didn’t Royal Worcester get bought up by someone a few years ago? I hope you come across one some time Brian – some of the designs are so lovely.

  3. So pretty! I have only ever seen these in pictures. How lucky to have them wild near you!! And your right the more common “common” name is horrible. Definitely doesn’t give an idea as to what a great color or flower they are. Oh…and I know what an egg coddler is (in reference to Brian’s comment) but good luck finding them here in the states. My husband would LOVE to have a set of those as he cooks his own eggs LOL

    • Hi Monica. I often come across flower names that are ugly, but there are plenty of pretty names too I suppose – especially the regional variations. I think the egg coddlers are getting rare now, but perhaps you’ll find a couple for your husband one day! Thanks for visiting!

  4. They look especially lovely in that container and with the related objects. Our native Hepaticas are not nearly so blue. I have ordered some from other parts of the world hoping to be able to grow some that look like yours but not much luck so far.

    • I think they are choosy as to where they will grow – they love the undisturbed chalky hillsides here and grow thick in places. I don’t have any luck with them in my garden, yet just a hundred metres away in the woods next door they grow like mad!

    • Thanks Mitza. After washing up the pots after our Easter brunch I didn’t put them away at once, so when I picked these tiny flowers it seemed the perfect ‘vase’!

      • That was really perfect for the tiny flowers. I put some violets in an eggcup. I also love to put flowers in antic sugar bowls. Just found out that you live in Bavaria.

  5. I love those blue flowers too but can only admire them in photos as they won’t grow here. I’m glad you explained the egg coddlers as I hadn’t a clue what those were – they make beautiful vases, though!

    • They are definitely cold climate plants – Seeing them flower is a sure sign of spring here! Glad you now know what an egg coddler is! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. How beautiful these are, and how wonderful to have them growing locally! I have always thought of them as being difficult to grow but unless we can recreate the sort of conditions you have in your local woods then I suppose they will be difficult. The egg coddler is a perfect receptacle for them, and I have to confess that although I have a RW egg coddler amongst my collection of chicken eggcups I haven’t actually used it, although if I had a pair I would definitely have given them a try the next time the Golfer and I were going to have boiled eggs! Yours looks even lovelier next to the gorgeous card and that pretty rabbit – thanks for sharing!

    • I think the key is them being undisturbed in the woods… in my garden the planting or weeding means that I am probably walking over them all the time while they are regenerating underground! Perhaps you’ll come across a second egg coddler one day…. in the meantime you could share… ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL!

  7. What a beautiful shade a blue – and how small and perfect these flowers are. They are new to me as I think of the slimy green Marchantiophyta when I hear the word liverwort.
    Your posy also struck a particular chord with me as I have a Royal Worcester egg coddler in exactly the same design as yours – and it was a gift from a dear friend at university, who came from Worcester and passed away a few years ago.
    Thanks for the memories – and the new flower to add to my mental hoard.
    All the best ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh yes, liverwort has another meaning too! I had forgotten that! Isn’t that a coincidence that we have the same pattern coddler! This one also has memories… my family each had one, and we had an extra one for an Auntie who often stayed with us at the weekend – when she died my Mum gave me her coddler and her serviette ring. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for visiting and all the best to you too.

  8. Pingback: In A Vase on Easter Monday | Forest Garden

  9. What a glorious shade of blue Cathy. I’ve read about egg coddlers but have never come across one. My mum used to work for Royal Worcester over 60 years ago hand painting china. I like both your bunnies.

    • Wow, your Mum did the hand painting? It sounds rather romantic, but was probably hard work. I suppose only special editions are done by hand these days… Hope you get to see a coddler one day Anna – they are rather quaint! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Such a pretty flower – it must be a real treat to have enough to be able to pick some and bring them home. The egg coddler looks like it was designed as a vase for a small bunch of spring flowers!

    • There are really so many I could have gone on picking them for the sheer pleasure of it! I must visit this patch again soon as our weather is going to warm up at the end of the week and there were still loads and loads of new buds! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Cathy I adore your wildflower. I have hepatica here too although the flower looks a bit different and lighter almost pink/lilac color. Mine won’t bloom for a while and I have had mixed results trying to grow it. I love the cup and other Easter decorations…charming.

  12. What a beautiful flowers Cathy. I look forward to seeing your hepatica each spring. Is the weather especially good for hepatica this year? Your egg cup is adorable. I have a pair we used to use many years ago–will have to hunt around for them and surprise my husband.

    • I think the rain we had last week was good for the Hepatica, and a cool spring means they flower longer too. There are lots and lots of new buds on the plants where I picked these so they seem to be a bit later than usual. Hope you can find your egg coddlers! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hi Bec. Hope the sun came out for you today. We had clear skies but it is still so cold… should be warming up apparently though. If you often eat eggs then you should definitely own a coddler, although I don’t know if they are still being made these days. I must take a look at your vase later and thanks for the link, and for visiting too!

  13. They are so lovely; the white stamens seem to just intensify the blue of the petals. How very special to have them in your wood when they are considered to be so rare.

    • It reminded me of the bluebell woods we used to visit when I was a child… that first glimpse of the colour blue just takes your breath away!

  14. Those are amazing! What a color and what a beautiful treasure to find. They couldn’t have been bred to be more perfect and they look great in your little egg codler (new to me!)

    • It made me wonder if we should try and create new hybrids all the time when the natural ones are so beautiful themselves. There is a man who collects them in Germany and he’s known as ‘Mr Hepatica’! He has around 50 on sale on his website, and apparently has several thousand plants… don’t know how many different sorts though. His book must be fabulous, with excellent photography, but is priced at around 70 euros (80-ish dollars)!

  15. What a gorgeous flower! At first glance, I thought they were Cineraria, but I read otherwise. I would love to see a patch of these in the woods. It must have taken your breath away~!

    • The Hepaticas are another example of recent name changes, now being put in the Anemone category… Anemone hepatica – isn’t it tiresome! Although I can see why in this case. I shall stick to the old name though, simply to be stubborn!

    • They are usually the first to flower, along with the Coltsfoot and Aconites, but this year they seem a bit later as the Corydalis are also out already. Glad I could enlighten you on the egg coddler! Thanks for visiting!

  16. They are such a terrific shade of blue. A gardening friend kindly gave me a bit of some from her garden and each year I think yuk I hate those tatty leaves, then the flowers emerge and all is forgiven. Wonderful flower/vase combination, as always.

  17. Hi Cathy, What a beautiful flower that is! (and what a horrible name indeed!) So delicate and pretty, and a perfect arrangement in your little ‘vase’. I don’t think I’ve seen one before, and I definitely haven’t seen or heard of an egg coddler before! Now I want one! Very neat.

    • I think the Hepatica are the perfect flower for our chalky hillsides. Have never seen them anywhere else, so I don’t know how common they are, but they are profuse in our region! ๐Ÿ™‚

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