Anemone americana (Round-lobed Hepatica)
|Also known as:||Liverleaf, Liverwort|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; mixed upland woods|
|Bloom season:||April - May|
|Plant height:||3 to 6 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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A single flower ½ to 1 inch across is at the end of a hairy leafless stalk. There are 5 to 12 petal-like sepals, usually 6, and numerous white stamens surrounding a green center. Petal color ranges from violet to white, sometimes pinkish. Behind the flower are 3 large hairy bracts each up to ½ inch long, oval to egg-shaped with a blunt or rounded tip. One plant has a tuft of a few to many flowers.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are up to 3 inches long and wide on a slender hairy stalk up to 6 inches long, and lobed in 3 parts of similar size, each lobe generally round to oval with a well-rounded tip. The leaves don't start opening up until the flowers bloom.
Leaves are mostly solid green or 2-tone green through spring and summer, turn dark green or brown in fall and persist through the winter. They wither away when the plant starts blooming again the following spring.
Hepaticas are among the first flowers to bloom in the spring. Sharp-lobed Hepatica and Round-lobed Hepatica have gone through a couple of name changes, at one time Hepatica acutiloba and H. americana respectively, and more recently considered different varieties of the same species, Hepatica nobilis var. acuta and var. obtusa respectively. Now they are different species again, in the Anemone genus, and closely related to the European species Anemone hepatica. The easiest way to differentiate Sharp-lobed from Round-lobed is—you guessed it—the round or pointed tips on leaves. The flowers are much the same and, while the tips of the bracts on Sharp-lobed may be more pointed than on Round-lobed, this can be subtle so is not necessarily a reliable distinction. Their ranges overlap significantly and may be found in the same habitat at the same time of year, though Round-lobed Hepatica may be found on drier sites in more acidic soils.
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- Round-lobed Hepatica plant
- hairy leaf stalks
- more flowers
- flowers together with leaves from previous season
Photos by K. Chayka taken at Wild River State Park, Chisago County, and Falls Creek SNA, Washington County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Washington and Dakota counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?