Perennial scapose herbs, with long-petioled thick 3-lobed evergreen basal leaves, and large white or purple flowers, solitary on slender scapes. Involucre of 3 small sessile leaves close under the flowers, simulating a calyx. Sepals membranous, petal-like. Stamens all anther-bearing. Achenes short-beaked, pubescent. [Name ancient, from the supposed resemblance of the leaves to the liver.]

A genus of about 4 species, natives of the north temperate zone. Only the following are known from North America. Type species: Anemone Hepatica L.

Lobes of the leaves rounded or obtuse.


H. Hepatica.

Lobes of the leaves acute.


H. acutiloba.

1. Hepatica Hepática (L.) Karst. Round-Lobed Or Kidney Liver-Leaf. Noble Liverwort

Fig. 1889

Anemone Hepatica L. Sp. Pl. 538. 1753.

Hepatica triloba Chaix in Vill. Hist. Pl. Dauph. 1: 336. 1786.

Hepatica Hepatica Karst. Deutsch. Fl. 559. 1880-83.

Scapes 4'-6' high, villous; roots fibrous. Leaves long-petioled, reniform, 2'-2 1/2' broad when mature, spreading on the ground, 3-lobed, and the lobes sometimes toothed or again lobed, obtuse; involucre of 3 sessile obtuse oblong leaves immediately under the flowers; flowers blue, purple or white, 6"-10" broad; sepals oval or oblong, obtuse, longer than the stamens; achenes several, 2" long, oblong, acute, hairy.

In woods, often in large tufts, Nova Scotia to northern Florida, west to Manitoba, Iowa and Missouri. Alaska. Ascends to 2600 ft. in Virginia. Also in Europe and Asia. Dec-May. Heart- or three-leaf liverwort. Liver-moss. Mouse-ears. Spring-beauty. Crystal-wort. Golden trefoil. Ivy-flower. Herb Trinity. Squirrel-cup.

1 Hepatica Hep Tica L Karst Round Lobed Or Kidney  2311 Hepatica Hep Tica L Karst Round Lobed Or Kidney  232

2. Hepatica Acutiloba Dc. Sharp-Lobed Or Heart Liver-Leaf Or Liverwort

Fig. 1890

Hepatica triloba var. acuta Pursh, Fl. Am. Sept. 391. 1814.

Hepatica acutiloba DC. Prodr. 1: 22. 1824.

Hepatica acuta Britton, Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 6: 234. 1891.

Scapes 4'-9' high, villous. Plant closely resembling the preceding, differing in that the leaf-lobes and those of the involucre are acute or acutish.

In woods, Maine, Quebec and throughout Ontario, south in the Alleghanies to Georgia, but rare or absent near the Atlantic Coast, west to Missouri and Minnesota. Puzzling forms occur which are referable with about equal certainty to the preceding species of which it may be regarded as a geographical race. The leaf-form of the German plant is quite intermediate between our Hepatica and acutiloba. A dioecious tendency of this species has been observed. March-April. Spring-beauty. May-flower.