This is a genus of spring flowering perennials, ideal for the woodland garden or a shady border. There are also a few annual or biennial species, which can be invasive weeds.
There are about 130 species found growing in damp meadows or near streams, throughout most temperate areas of the world, but especially in the northern hemisphere. Europe alone boasts 36 different species.
Best grown in part or full shade, they like a moist, but not waterlogged, soil.