Anemone americana flowers

Family:     Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     5-18 cm (2-7 in)

Blooming: April-May


Roundlobe Hepatica

Anemone americana (DC.) H. Hara

"Even under the snow itself bravely blooms the delicate hepatica, wrapped in fuzzy furs as if to protect its stem and nodding buds from cold."  - Neltje Blanchan

Flowers: only one flower blooms at the end of a hairy stalk.  There are no petals on the flower only 5-12 smooth sepals.  These sepals can be whitish purple, pink, bluish, or white.  The flower have 10-30 stamens.    

Leaves: 3-15 basal leaves.  Usually in the summer they are dark green and then to purple in the fall remaining that way throughout the winter.  The transition from green to purple often leaves the leaves with a beautiful variegation.

The leaf blades are dived with three lobes and have no teeth.  Each leaf blade is nearly circular with heart-shaped or cordate bases and rounded edges.  The leaves can be as large as 7x10 cm (2.75x4 in).  

Sun: Partial shade to shade

Comments: Round-lobed hepatica has been previously called Hepatica americana and Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa.  It differs from the very similar sharp-lobed hepatica by its rounded lobes as the names suggest.  Hepatica flowers are some of the first to bloom in Northwest Indiana's woods exciting nature enthusiasts for things to come.

As John Burrough's elegantly wrote in his poem, "Hepatica":

Like robin's song or bluebird's wing,
Or throats that make the marshes ring,
Her beaming face and winsome grace
Are greetings from the heart of spring

The early blooming flower relies on flies and bees for pollination.  The seeds are transported by ants.


Etymology: The name, Anemone, is derived from the Greek words meaning "windflower".  The epithet simply means "of America".  The previous genus, Hepatica, is from the Latin word for "liver".


hepatica americana flower
anemone americana leaves

all photos by Na.J. Pilla

Species Present and Native