Index- plants in this Family
Ranunculaceae / Buttercups
Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis)
Hepatica is also known as Sharplobe Hepatica (var. acuta) and Roundlobe Hepatica (var. obtusa. Formerly know as H. actutiloba and H. americana respectively..

Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a perennial. The flower stem is leafless except for three leaflets just below the flower and hairy.
Leaves: This plant has basal leaves only. Leaves can reach 10cm in length (4inches). Each leaf has 3 pointed lobes.
Flowers: The flowers have 6 Regular Parts. They are white sometimes blue or pink. Blooms first appear in early spring and continue into late spring. Each flower stalk has a solitary flower.
Fruit: An achene.
Habitat: Rich moist woods.
Range: Most of eastern U. S. except extreme north.

      Color Photo     More Info      Classification

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The leaves survive the winter and look old and weathered at the time of flowering when the new leaves are just emerging as fuzzy tuffs.

Historical Uses: Due to the doctrine of signatures Hepaticas were once used to treat liver disorders.

Similar Species:Round-lobed Hepatica (H. americana) is very similar and the species often cross. Round-lobed Hepatica has rounded lobes on the leaves and the leaves are somewhat smaller seldom more than 7cm (3"). It's range extends further north and south.

See the links below this image for other images. (1)

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Hepatica, Sharp-lobed (Hepatica nobilis) color variations  © Daniel Reed

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves




Welcome / Glossary / Books / Links / Feedback / Image use policy - Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States, Page updated on 8/14/2009 10:48:37 AM. (Viewed date from local machine.)
© 1999-2009 Daniel W. Reed
File date-14-Aug-09