Hepatica acutiloba

Sharp-lobed Hepatica



Bare Root Plants
Out of Stock

As the first spring ephemeral to bloom in the forest, Sharp-lobed Hepatica is a delightful sight after a long winter. John Burroughs, the famous 19th century American naturalist, once said, “There are many things left for May, but nothing fairer, if as fair, as the first flower, the hepatica... It is certainly the gem of the woods.” This petite little plant can be a variety of colors including white, pink and blue.

Hepatica can be identified by the distinctive, mottled leaves which turn a crimson color in the fall. In late winter, the bright red color of last year's leaves are a good indication of where the new blooms will appear come spring. The appearance of the leaves has inspired another common name, "Liverleaf." The name references the perceived similarity of the leaf shape to the human liver. Ancient herbalists believed in the "Doctrine of Signatures," the idea that the cures to medical ailments could be found in the plants that resembled the diseased human body part. Hepatica was creatively imagined to be shaped like a liver, and as such, it was historically used to treat ailments of the liver. Like many plants believed to have medicinal qualities, Hepatica was almost over-harvested to the brink of extinction. Modern medical science has shown Hepatica to have no medical efficacy, and the Doctrine of Signatures has also since been proven to be pseudoscience.

Sharped-lobed Hepatica is one of two species Hepatica native to North America, the other being Round-leaved Hepatica (H. americana). As the names suggest, the primary difference between the two is leaf morphology. Hepatica has a long history of name changes, and current taxonomy classifies both species in the Anemone genus.

*This species may be difficult and/or slow to germinate and grow to maturity. Please note the germination code(s), right. Seed of this species is kept under refrigeration (33-38 F) in our warehouse. The days in transit to you in colder or warmer conditions won’t harm the seed, but it should be put back in refrigeration until you are ready to plant or apply pre-sowing treatment.

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Summer Fall Age/Size
Dormant Bare Roots
N/A August October 2-3 years

Hepatica acutiloba - Sharp-lobed Hepatica

Map Key

Present in state
Present but introduced in county
Present and native in county; not rare
Not present in state
Present and native in county; rare
Species extirpated (historic)
State or county listed as noxious
Present in state; exotic

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

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Bare Roots ship fall only

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Perennial, Ephemeral
Sun Exposure
Partial, Shade
Soil Moisture
Medium, Medium-Dry
8 inches
Bloom Time
April, May
Bloom Color
White, Blue, Pink
Highly recommended for home landscaping
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code