Low plant of early spring Flowers with 6 petals
(actually sepals) and many yellow stamens. Three sepal-like
bracts occur below the flowers. Sepals may be blue,
pink, white, purple, or lavender. Leaves have three lobes that
are mottled with purple and rounded at the tips.
Rare in Wildwood,
but can be seen in scattered places in the woods, especially on the
The lovely flowers and mottled leaves appearing in early spring
are distinctive of the hepaticas. Sharp-lobed hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba)
is also reported from the Park and differs in having leaf lobes with
sharp points. To make things worse, hybrids between the two
species, with intermediate leaves are known, and could be expected
in the Park. At first glance, hepaticas could also be confused
with rue anemone, but that plant has
very different leaves and often many more petals.