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Anemone hepatica

Anemone hepatica (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Ordo: Ranunculales

Familia: Ranunculaceae
Subfamilia: Ranunculoideae
Tribus: Anemoneae
Genus: Hepatica
Species: Hepatica nobilis

Hepatica nobilis Schreb., Spic. Fl. Lips.: 39 (1771).

Replaced synonym
Anemone hepatica L., Sp. Pl. 1: 538 (1753).
Hepatica nobilis Mill., Gard. Dict., ed. 8. Hepatica no. 1 (1768). nom. inval., textus s.n.
Anemone praecox Salisb., Prodr.: 371 (1796), nom. illeg.
Hepatica hepatica (L.) Britton, Ann. New York Acad. Sci. 6: 233 (1891). nom. inval., tautonym
Hepatica hepatica (L.) H.Karst., Deut. Fl.: 559 (1882). nom. inval., tautonym
Anemone triloba (Chaix) Stokes, Bot. Mat. Med., 3: 243 (1812), nom. illeg.
Hepatica triloba Chaix, Pl. Vapinc.: 32 (1785).
Hepatica triloba Chaix in Villars, Hist. Pl. Dauph., 1: 336 (1786), nom. illeg.
Anemone hepatica var. hispanica Willk. in Willkomm & Lange, Prodr. Fl. Hispan. 3: 947. 1880.
Anemone hepatica var. minor Rouy & Foucaud, Fl. France 1: 45 (1893).
Hepatica alba Mill., Gard. Dict., ed. 8. 1768, nom. inval.
Hepatica anemonoides Vest, Man. Bot. : 806. 1805.
Anemone angulosa Lam., Encycl. 1: 169. 1783.
Hepatica angulosa (Lam.) DC., Syst. Nat. 1: 217. 1817.
Hepatica nobilis var. hispanica (Willk.) Beck
Hepatica plena Mill., Gard. Dict., ed. 8. 1768, nom. inval.
Hepatica triloba var. picta Beck, Fl. Nieder-Österr. 1: 407. 1890.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Europe
Regional: Northern Europe
Denmark, Finland, Great Britain (introduced), Norway, Sweden.
Regional: Middle Europe
Austria, Belgium (introduced), Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic, Slovakia), Germany, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland.
Regional: Southwestern Europe
Corse, France, Spain.
Regional: Southeastern Europe
Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania, Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia)
Regional: Eastern Europe
Belarus, Baltic States (Estonia, Kaliningrad, Latvia, Lithuania), Central European Russia, East European Russia, North European Russia, Northwest European Russia, Ukraine (Moldova, Ukraine)
Continental: Asia-Temperate
Regional: Siberia
West Siberia.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Schreber, J.C.D.v. 1771. Spicilegium Florae Lipsicae. 148 pp. Lipsiae [Leipzig]: Dykiano. BHL Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Hepatica nobilis in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Feb. 5. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2020. Hepatica nobilis. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2020. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Feb. 5. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Hepatica nobilis. Published online. Accessed: Feb. 5 2020.

Vernacular names
العربية: شقار كبدي
беларуская: Пералеска высакародная
български: гълъбови очички
català: Herba fetgera
kaszëbsczi: Podleszczón
čeština: jaterník podléšťka, jaterník podléška, jaterník trojlaločný
Cymraeg: deilen yr afu
dansk: Blå Anemone
Deutsch: Leberblümchen
español: hepática, anémone de flor cerúlea, epática, hepática noble, hierba de la Trinidad, hierba del hígado, trébol dorado, trifolio aureo, trifolio áureo, viola de llop, yerba de la Trinidad, yerba del hígado, yerba del hígado
eesti: Sinilill, Harilik sinilill, Külmalill, Maksalehed, Sapihein, Surmalill, Lumekannike, Metsamirt, Siniülane, Lumelill, Keltsalill
suomi: Sinivuokko, lehtosinivuokko
français: anémone hépatique, hépatique noble, hépatique à trois

Anemone hepatica (syn. Hepatica nobilis), the common hepatica, liverwort,[2] kidneywort, or pennywort, is a species of flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to woodland in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. This herbaceous perennial grows from a rhizome.

Blue and pink flowered hepatica
White flowered hepatica

Anemone hepatica grows 5–15 cm (2–6 in) high. Leaves and flowers emerge directly from the rhizome, not from a stem above ground.

The leaves have three lobes and are fleshy and hairless, 7–9 cm (2+3⁄4–3+1⁄2 in) wide and 5–6 cm (2–2+1⁄4 in) long . The upper side is dark green with whitish stripes and the lower side is violet or reddish brown. Leaves emerge during or after flowering and remain green through winter.

The flowers are blue, purple, pink, or white and appear in winter or spring. They have five to ten oval showy sepals and three green bracts.


The taxonomy of the genus Anemone and its species is not fully resolved, but phylogenetic studies of many species of Anemone and related genera[3] indicate that species of the genus Hepatica should be included under Anemone because of similarities both in molecular attributes and other shared morphologies.[4] The circumscription of the taxon is also debated, some authors listing the North American var. acuta[5] and var. obtusa,[6] while other list them as the separate species A. acutiloba and A. americana, respectively.[7]

Varieties of Anemone hepatica that are sometimes recognized include:[1]

Anemone hepatica var. japonica, a synonym of Hepatica nobilis var. japonica Nakai, is native to the Russian Far East, China, Korea, and Japan[8][9]
Anemone hepatica var. acuta, a synonym of Hepatica acutiloba DC., is native to eastern North America[10]
Anemone hepatica var. obtusa, a synonym of Hepatica americana (DC.) Ker Gawl., is native to eastern North America[11]

Anemone hepatica var. japonica

Distribution and habitat

It is found in woods, thickets and meadows, especially in the mountains of continental Europe, North America and Japan.

Hepatica flowers produce pollen but no nectar. In North America, the flowers first attract Lasioglossum sweat bees and small carpenter bees looking in vain for nectar. Then when the stamens begin to release pollen, the bees return to collect and feed on pollen. Mining bees sometimes visit the flowers, but prefer flowers that produce both nectar and pollen.[12]

Like other Ranunculaceae, fresh liverwort contains protoanemonin and is therefore slightly toxic. By drying the herb, protoanemonin is dimerized to the non-toxic anemonin.

Medieval herbalists believed it could be used to treat liver diseases, and is still used in alternative medicine today. Other modern applications by herbalists include treatments for pimples, bronchitis and gout.[13]

Under the name Hepatica nobilis, which is now regarded as a synonym, this plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[14]

It is the official flower of the Sweden Democrats political party in Swedish politics.

"Anemone hepatica L." World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – via The Plant List.
Horace Kephart (1936). "Early Spring Flowers of the North Carolina Mountains". The Journal of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Club. 1 (7): 77–83. doi:10.2307/4031043. JSTOR 4031043.
Sara B. Hoot; Anton A. Reznicek; Jeffrey D. Palmer (January–March 1994). "Phylogenetic Relationships in Anemone (Ranunculaceae) Based on Morphology and Chloroplast DNA". Systematic Botany. 19 (1): 169–200. doi:10.2307/2419720. JSTOR 2419720.
Dutton, Bryan E.; Keener, Carl S.; Ford, Bruce A. (1997). "Anemone". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). 3. New York and Oxford – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
"Anemone hepatica var. acuta (Pursh) Pritz. — The Plant List". Retrieved 2019-07-25.
"Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa (Pursh) Steyerm. — The Plant List". Retrieved 2019-07-25.
"GRIN-Global Web v". Retrieved 2019-07-25.
"Hepatica nobilis var. japonica Nakai". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
"Anemone hepatica var. japonica - Hortipedia". Retrieved 2019-07-25.
"Hepatica acutiloba DC.". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
"Hepatica americana (DC.) Ker Gawl.". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
Heather Holm (2014). Pollinators on Native Plants. Minnetonka, MN: Pollinator Press. pp. 140–141.
Howard, Michael (1987). Traditional Folk Remedies. Century. pp. 161–2.

"Hepatica nobilis". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 14 August 2020.

Pignatti, S. (1982). Flora d'Italia. 1. Edagricole. p. 277.

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