Round-lobed hepatica is widespread in North America, a native plant.
There is also a sharp-lobed variety, Hepatica nobilis var. acuta. These are inconspicuous until you start looking for them. I’ll be hiking along and notice a single, lavendar-colored blossom, poking up through the
leaf litter a couple of inches, often with no visible leaves or any other evidence that there is a whole
plant in there somewhere. At other times of the year, I occasionally notice a couple of small
leaves, flush with the ground. Took awhile to put them together. Once I did, I started noticing them
a lot more often, among the first flowers in the spring.
Identification: Leaves are basal, just above (or even below) the
leaf litter. They are evergreen, heart-shaped at the base, with three rounded lobes, vaguely resembling a liver,
hence the common name. They turn splotchy and then deep red in the winter.
In early spring, fuzzy stems 4-6" (10-15 cm) high each support a delicate white, pink, blue,
or lavendar flower. Each flower is ½-1" (1.3-2.5 cm) around, with 5-20 sepals (usually six). Behind
each flower are three oval-shaped large hairy bracts.