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Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa (Roundlobe hepatica)
Sherman, Doug

Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa

Hepatica nobilis Schreb. var. obtusa (Pursh) Steyerm.

Roundlobe Hepatica, Round-lobed Hepatica, Liverleaf

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Synonym(s): Anemone americana, Anemone hepatica, Hepatica americana, Hepatica hepatica, Hepatica triloba var. americana


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Pink, white or purple blossoms arise in early spring on fuzzy, 4-6 in. stems. The leaves, which grow from ground level on hairy stems after the flower has blossomed, are 3-lobed, rounded and evergreen until the following spring.

This is an early spring wildflower, usually with lavender flowers and 3-lobed leaves that persist throughout the winter. The Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis var. acuta), has more pointed leaf lobes and bracts. The genus name refers to the 3-lobed leaf that supposedly bears a resemblance to the liver. Because of this, early herbalists assumed the plant to be effective in treating liver ailments.


From the Image Gallery

21 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Notes: 3 to 4 inches high
Leaf: Variegated dark and light green. Deep red in fall and winter.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Flower: Flowers 1/2 to 1 inch across
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
Bloom Notes: Color ranges from white to pink to pale blue to lavender. An early spring bloomer.


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , NB , NS , PE
Native Distribution: N.S. to Man., s. to n. FL, AL, & AR. Eastern North America, Zones 5 to 8.
Native Habitat: Rich, mesic to dry, deciduous, pine & sometimes spruce woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: High
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Neutral to acidic soils, but prefers acidic. Prefers high humus.


Use Ornamental: Attractive foliage and delicate blooms for small garden spaces.
Use Wildlife: Winter browse
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: No


Propagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Description: Seeds should be planted outside immediately after collection. In the Southeast, sow in fall. First-year seedlings will only have 2 leaves, but will expand after that. Seeds are hard to collect, so an alternate propagation method is fall division. Clumps, however, are slow to increase. When dividing a clump, it is best to leave 2-3 buds in each division.
Seed Collection: Approximate collection date in northern U.S.: Mid to late May.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Additional resources

USDA: Find Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa


Record Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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