Flowering stems extremely hairy. One of the earliest-flowering plants in spring. Flowers on leafless stems (scapes), which are silky-hairy with 5–12 petallike sepals, numerous stamens, one flower to a scape; white, pink, and shades of blue and lavender. Blooms March–April. Leaves basal, on long, hairy stems, deeply 3-lobed with a heart-shaped base, the lobes rounded. Light green at first, later turning leathery in beautiful shades of wine-red and brown and remaining so through the winter, surrounding the newly appearing leaves in spring.
Similar species: Sharp-lobed hepatica (A. acutiloba, formerly Hepatica nobilis var. acuta), is similar except that the 3 lobes of the leaves are sharp-pointed, not rounded. It is found primarily in the eastern half and southern two-thirds of Missouri.