Monday, January 16, 2012

Green in Winter: Round-Lobed Hepatica

Hepatica americana is a colorful and attractive member of the Ranunculaceae (Crowfoot or Buttercup Family). It has a special affinity for rotting oak leaves and shaded, acid sandy soil. The dark green leaves have three rounded lobes, often mottled with deep maroon. Flowers open in very early spring and range in color from white through pink to purple. New leaves emerge as flowers fade away. Photographed in the Ardmore section of South Bend, Indiana in January, 2012.


Steve said...

So what then is the latest classification of round lobe/sharp lobe? Both considered subspecies of H. nobilis or both distinct species of H. americana and H. acutiloba?

Keith said...

I'm pretty sure the current trends in nomenclatural flux can be found at (Flora of North America) and the USDA PLANTS database online.

Nick said...

I usually consider the FNA online to be most authoritative, each section is written by someone who is expert in that part of the botanical world.

These authors consider these to be an Anemone now.

One trouble with FNA online is that if you don't plug in the current name (like searching for Hepatica), it won't come up. It is usually very good at providing synonyms once you get the current name though.

Here is "Anemone" with a list of the authors

5. Anemone Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 538. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 241, 1754.

Windflower, anémone [etymology not clear: probably Greek anemos, wind; possibly from Naaman, Semitic name for Adonis, whose blood, according to myth, produced Anemone coronaria ]

Bryan E. Dutton, Carl S. Keener & Bruce A. Ford

Anemonastrum Holub; Anemonidium (Spach) Holub; Anemonoides Miller; Hepatica Miller; Jurtsevia A. Löve & D. Löve; Pulsatilla Miller

and Anemone acutiloba

and Anemone americana

Scott Namestnik said...

I would agree that FNA is the most authoritative at the time that the treatment is written, but will they be updating the treatments as names change? I think USDA Plants will continue to update, but I'm still not sure if it is the most current (though I use it often). I think may be the most current, and it is updated as names change as far as I understand.

According to tropicos, the hepaticas are now treated as Hepatica nobilis var. acuta and Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa. That said, I can't see how they're treated as varieties and not as distinct species.