Hiking quickly up a hill near a river, trying to avoid sliding into the mud, I looked down and saw this slightly bluish wildlower and assumed it was a Rue Anemone. I reached down to snap a picture and then moved on. When I got back home and looked that the pictures I was stunned to see this plant had interesting mottled tri-lobed leaves that looked like they’d already lived through a winter. What I had seen was actually Roundlobe Hepatica, or Hepatica americana.
This spring I knew what to look for. And I found it. This picture was taken on this year’s Spring Break Trip to the St. Francois Mountains and I saw these near a creek in Bell Mountain Wilderness in Iron County, Missouri. These were not as blue as the ones I saw last year, but I did see some individual plants that had more than just a bluish tinge.
The plant’s name comes from the large persistent leaves. They are lobed and in the winter appear to be a mottled maroon color, resembling the lobes of a liver (Hepaticus is Late Latin for liver).