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For Your Garden - May 2010

Native spring wildflowers are blooming profusely! Are you using native wildflowers in your landscaping? Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and disease. They also provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Their brilliantly colored blossoms and interesting shapes will make your landscape a showplace. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

sharp-lobed hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba)
Photo © 2009, River Valley Photographic Resources, Ltd.,

Sharp-lobed hepatica is a wildflower that grows in rich woodlands throughout Illinois. It blooms from March through May. Each leaf has three lobes, and each lobe has a sharp point. The plant grows to a height of four to nine inches. The leaf and flower stalks are hairy. Flower color varies and may be pink, purple, blue or white. There are six to 10 sepals present per flower. Sharp-lobed hepatica is a member of the buttercup family of plants.

Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


​Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae

Illinois Status: common, native