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Anemone americana

Blunt-lobed hepatica, Round-lobed hepatica, Liverwort, Liverleaf

Plant Details

Common Name: Blunt-lobed hepatica, Round-lobed hepatica, Liverwort, Liverleaf
Family: Ranunculaceae (buttercup family)
Mature Height: <6"
Sun Requirement: Part shade to shade
Moisture Requirement: Dry - medium, Medium - moist
Flower Color: White, Violet
Bloom Time: Spring (May or earlier)

Anemone americana blunt-lobed hepatica
Anemone americana blunt-lobed hepatica

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Anemone is Greek (anemos) for wind, and americana is Latin for North or South America. Its common name of hepatica is derived from a Greek word that means the liver; the 3-lobed leaf of this plant was thought to resemble a human liver.

Previously classified as Hepatica americana and similar to but distinguishable from sharp-toothed hepatica (Anemone acutiloba).

Native Habitat

Typically found in part shade, in mixed upland woods.

Garden Uses

Lovely naturalized in woodland gardens.


One of the first spring wildflowers, it tolerates drier and more acidic soils than sharp-toothed hepatica but prefers medium moisture and some winter snow cover.

Leaves and Stems

Simple, smooth-edged leaves appear after flowers, and are made up of three rounded lobes of similar size, approximately 3 by 3 inches total. Leaves grow from the base of the plant, on hairy, thin stems. Spring leaves are solid to two-tone green, turning to dark green or brown in autumn, and persisting through much of winter before they wither prior to spring flowering.


Single flowers are 1/2 to 1 inch across, at the end of a hairy, leafless stalk, typically bearing 6 (range 5-12) petals in lavender to white around a green center with numerous white stamens. Flowers are radially symmetrical. Behind each flower are 3 large, green, hairy bracts (modified leaves or scales), each up to 1/2 inch long, oval, with blunt or rounded tips. One plant will display a clump of many flowers, blooming April to May.


Fruit is dry, does not split open when ripe, and measures less than 1/4 inch (3.5 to 5 mm). May self-seed in optimum conditions.

Animal Associates

Flowers are attractive to pollinators.


Sow fresh seed for germination the following spring. Propagated seedlings may take several years to flower, and plants may be slow to thicken sufficiently for division.

Ethnobotanical Uses

Early settlers made an herbal tea from the leaves to treat liver ailments.


Native Plant Trust 

Virginia Native Plant Society 

Missouri Botanical Garden 

Minnesota Wildflowers 

Plant Profile by Kate O’Dell