Viola ×primulifolia (Primrose-leaved Violet)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Genus:Viola
Family:Violaceae (Violet)
Life cycle:perennial
Origin:native
Habitat:part shade, sun; moist soil; open meadows, open woods, stream banks, fens
Bloom season:April - June
Plant height:2 to 6 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Flower shape: irregular

[photo of flowers] A single flower at the end of a naked stem that typically rises above the leaves. Flowers are white, about 1/3 inch wide, 5-petaled with purple steaks on the three lower petals. The lateral petals may be hairless or have a few sparse hairs at the base (bearded).

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] The leaves are all basal, spear to egg-shaped, the blade twice as long as wide, up to 3¾ inches long and 2 inches wide, tapering to a dull point at the tip, nearly straight to slightly heart-shaped at the base, the upper stalk narrowly winged. Leaf edges are typically scalloped but may be nearly toothless. Leaves and stems are generally hairless throughout except for a few sparse, compressed hairs along the lower leaf veins and sometimes on the flower stem.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a small, green, oval to egg-shaped capsule that is initially hanging but becomes erect when seed ripens, the capsule splitting into 3 parts and ejecting the seed out with great force.

[photo of seed] The seeds are egg-shaped, reddish brown to black, about 1 millimeter long.

Notes:

Primrose violet is easily distinguished from all other violets by its unique leaf shape from which it gets its common name. While there is some debate on its status as a unique species, in Minnesota it is recognized as a stable, natural hybrid between Small White Violet (Viola macloskeyi) and Lance-leaved Violet (Viola lanceolata) and is often present where the other two species are found together in the Anoka sandplain.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken in Blaine, Anoka County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka County and in a private garden in Ramsey County.

Comments

Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Darcy B - Mahtomedi
on: 2017-05-18 23:56:12

this grows all over our 2.5 acre wooded lot

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