nobilis var. acuta Sharp-Lobed hepatica
Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa Round Lobed Hepatica
Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
Seeds and Potted Plants
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|Habitat||Bloom Period|| Flower
|Height Inches||Moisture||Plant Spacing||Lifespan|
|Shade, part Sun|| March
|white to blue||6 inches||Average||8 to 12 inches||Perennial|
Sharp-lobed Hepatica nobilis var. acuta
Round-lobed Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa
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(hep-AT-ih-kuh) From hepar (liver); referring
to its supposed curative properties
nobilis (no-BIL-iss) Notable, showy
Sharp-lobed Hepatica grows in well-drained, loamy soil
and prefers dappled sunlight
during the spring and light to moderate shade during summer. The basal leaves
should be left undisturbed during the winter. The soil can contain some rocky
material and a thin-layer of mulch or decaying leaves will be beneficial.
Hepatica nobilis var. acuta, Sharp Lobed Hepatica plants have basal leaves up to 3 inches long with three sharply pointed lobes. (A closely related plant, Round-lobed hepatica has rounded lobes) Leaves are evergreen through winter and may be poisonous in large doses
One of the first flowers of spring, Hepatica flowers
attractive and with their pretty leaves are difficult
to resist. Flowers are one inch across with
6 (sometimes 5-11)
petal-like sepals, a green cluster of carpels in its center, and numerous white
stamens surrounding the carpels. Sepals
are white, pastel pink, or pastel blue and oblong-oval in shape. At the base of
each flower, there are 3 leafy bracts that are lanceolate, ovate, or oval in
shape. These bracts are reddish green or reddish brown, hairy across the outer
surface, and shorter than the sepals. A
colony of plants will begin blooming early to mid-spring and lasts about 2-3
weeks. Flower stalks are
3-4" long, hairy and often reddish green or reddish brown. Each has a solitary flower with blooms
first appearing in early spring and into late spring.
Hepatica nobilis, Sharp Lobed Hepatica flowers are hermaphrodite (has both male
and female organs) and pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, Moths and
Native Americans used hepatica medicinally in the
treatment of abdominal pains, poor digestion, and constipation, as a wash for
"twisted mouth or crossed eyes," and as a gynecological aid.
Sharp-Lobed Hepatica nobilis grows wild in the shade of rich moist deciduous woodlands and is native to the eastern half of North America. When the flowers first appear, the previous year's leaves can seem to be quite worn-out. Spring's bright green leaves become nicely colored as autumn progresses, until eventually they have taken the "liver" coloration which inspired the name Hepatica, alluding to the hepatic system, or liver. Toward the end of winter, flowers join the aging leaves, and the flowers persist until new leaves arrive in March and April, as a broad generality with variations clump to clump.
showy native perennial wildflower grows 3 to 6 inches tall with showy flowers on
slender stems and basal leaves that develops during the late spring and persists
through the winter. Leaves are up to 3" long and across and grow on slender
petioles up to 6" long. Leaves are palmately divided into 3 pointed lobes.
The leafs upper surface is smooth and usually more green during the
summer becoming reddish brown during the winter but can be green, brownish
green, reddish brown, or contain patches of these colors. In Hepatica nobilis
var. acuta the leaf margins are smooth with pointed tips on the lobes of mature
leaves. (Hepatica nobilis var.
obtuse has rounded lobes).
Mature plants have a tuft of flowers on long stalks during early to mid-spring, by which time the Basal leaves may persist through the winter but often become withered by late winter/early spring when the flowers appear. Each flower is on a reddish green or reddish brown naked hairy stalk about 3-4" long. Flowers are up to one inch across and may be erect or nod on their stalks. Fowers are white, pastel pink, or pastel blue with numerous white stamens and three lance shaped leafy bracts that are reddish green or reddish brown, hairy across the outer surface, and shorter than the sepals. Individual flowers begin blooming in early to mid-spring with blooms lasting 2 to 3 weeks for a colony of plants; however, individual flowers are short-lived. Hepatica plants have a small cluster of fibrous roots and spreads by reseeding itself.
Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa (Hepatica americana, Anemone americana)
• Family: Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)
• Habitat: rocky woods
• Height: 4-6 inches
• Flower size: 3/4 inch across
• Flower color: white, blue, or pink
• Flowering time: March to May
• Origin: native
var. acuta and Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa,
the two North American species are closely
allied to the Eurasian Anemone hepatica.
exhibit morpho- physiological dormancy. Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds are warm
and cold stratified and germinate at 15/6 C.
Family Scientific Name: Ranunculaceae
Family Common Name: Buttercup family
Scientific Name: Hepatica acutilobaDC.
Common Synonym: Hepatica nobilis var. acuta
Common Name: Lobed leaf hepatica Species Code: HEPACU General Distribution: H. acutiloba is found within temperate deciduous forests of North America.
Hepatica nobilis var. acuta
Hepatica triloba var. acuta
Sharp-lobed Hepatica seed should be planted in a moist soil in a shady position. The stored seed requires stratification for about 3 weeks at 0 - 5°c. Germination takes 1 - 12 months at 10°c. Seed germination will be most successful when planted as soon as it is ripe in the woodland garden or a shady position in a cold frame. When started in a cold frame small seedlings can be moved to individual pots when large enough to handle and grown on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Plants can be divided just as the leafless plant comes into flower in late winter/early spring and replanted into their permanent positions.
The map below shows areas where native wildflowers grow wild but they can be planted and will grow over a much wider area than shown. USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9.
Hepatica nobilis var.
Hepatica nobilis seeds are NOT available
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Sharp lobed Hepatica nobilis var. acuta plant distribution map
complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
(http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
This native perennial plant is about 3-6" tall. It consists of a tuft of
basal leaves that develops during the late spring and persists through the
winter. These leaves are up to 3" long and across; they have slender
petioles up to 6" long. Each leaf is palmately divided into 3 lobes; the
lobes are oval-ovate and approximately the same size. The smooth upper surface
of each leaf can be green, brownish green, reddish brown, or contain patches of
the preceding colors; usually, the upper surface is more green during the
summer, but become reddish brown during the winter. The leaf margins are smooth;
for var. acuta, the tips of the lobes are rather pointed in mature leaves.
mature plant will produce a tuft of flowers on long stalks during early to
mid-spring, by which time the basal leaves that persisted during the winter may
have withered away. Each flower occurs on a naked hairy stalk about 3-4"
long; this stalk is often reddish green or reddish brown. The flower may be
erect or it may nod on its stalk. Each flower is up to 1" across,
consisting of 5-11 petal-like sepals, a green cluster of carpels in its center,
and numerous white stamens surrounding the carpels. The sepals are white, pastel
pink, or pastel blue; each sepal is oblong-oval in shape. At the base of each
flower, there are 3 leafy bracts that are lanceolate, ovate, or oval in shape.
These bracts are reddish green or reddish brown, hairy across the outer surface,
and shorter than the sepals. The blooming period occurs during early to
mid-spring and lasts about 2-3 weeks for a colony of plants; however, individual
flowers are short-lived. The carpels turn brown and become beaked achenes that
are often pubescent. The root system consists of a tuft of fibrous roots. This
plant spreads by reseeding itself.
The preference is dappled sunlight during the spring and light shade during the summer. The basal leaves should be left undisturbed during the winter. The soil should be well-drained, loamy, and can contain some rocky material, including pieces of limestone; a thin-layer of decaying leaves is also beneficial.
Sharp-Lobed Hepatica is occasional in wooded areas. Habitats include upland deciduous woodlands, rocky bluffs, the slopes of bluffs, and limestone cliffs (where some shade occurs). Sharp-Lobed Hepatica occurs in high quality wooded areas where the original flora is largely intact. Sometimes it is cultivated as a rock garden plant. While Sharp-Lobed Hepatica is native to North America, the typical variety of Hepatica, Hepatica nobilis nobilis, occurs in Eurasia.
Small bees collect pollen from the flowers, while Syrphid flies and other flies feed on the pollen. Bee visitors include honeybees, Small Carpenter bees, Andrenid bees, and Halictid bees. Nectar is not provided by the flowers. Chipmunks reportedly eat the achenes. The brownish green basal leaves are poisonous and somewhat camoflaged; it seems unlikely that they are eaten by mammalian herbivores to any significant extent.
The flowers of Sharp-Lobed Hepatica bloom earlier than most spring-blooming wildflowers of woodlands. They are delicately attractive and have a tendency to blow about on their slender stems in the wind. Another native variety of this plant species is Hepatica nobilis obtusa (Round-Lobed Hepatica), which has a very similar appearance, except that the lobes of its basal leaves are well-rounded rather than pointed. Sometimes these two varieties intergrade where their ranges overlap. Some authorities refer to Sharp-Lobed Hepatica as Hepatica acutiloba, while Round-Lobed Hepatica is referred to as Hepatica americana. Another common name for Hepatica is Liverleaf, which refers to the appearance and shape of the leaves.