"Long ago, herbalists likely thought one of the liverworts resembled a liver - and so used it as a medicine for liver ailments.
Thus, the word liverwort means a 'liver-like small plant.'"
January 7, 1983
On this day, the New Zealand botanist Eliza Amy Hodgson died.
She was known by her middle name, Amy.
Amy specialized in liverworts.
Liverworts are nonvascular plants like mosses. Like mosses, worts thrive in moist areas.
Without a vascular system, mosses and liverworts don’t get very big. They grow flat on the ground and have large leaf-like structures.
These are tiny plants to be sure, and worts are considered one level simpler than mosses.
Long ago, herbalists likely thought one of the liverworts resembled a liver - and so used it as a medicine for liver ailments.
Thus, the word liverwort means a "liver-like small plant."
The word "wort" means "little plant, herb or root" (St. John’s Wort, Pennywort, lungwort, and Bladderwort.)
In my research, I discovered a photo of Amy standing before a flower border with green foliage and white blossoms.
This photo always makes me chuckle because Amy is wearing a green hat along with a green/black dress that is covered in white leaves, which turns the image into a bit of a Where’s Waldo - and it makes sweet Amy look like she is trying to blend in with the landscape.
So, here’s a thank you to dear Amy - who gives us a good reminder to never to have your clothes blend in too much with the garden - lest you, in an odd way, become part of the garden itself.