Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

VIOLACEAE

VIOLET FAMILY

R. John Little

Annual to shrub or vine (generally per in CA)
Leaves basal, cauline, or both, generally alternate, entire to compound; stipules generally small
Inflorescence: head, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary; peduncle bractlets 2
Flower generally bisexual, generally bilateral; sepals 5, free to slightly fused, generally persistent; petals 5, free, lowest generally spurred or pouched at base; stamens generally 5, alternate petals, filaments short, wide, anthers surrounding ovary, adherent or fused, often with nectaries at base, often with membranous appendage at tip; ovary superior, chamber 1, placentas 3, parietal, ovules generally many, style 1
Fruit: generally capsule, 3-valved, generally explosively dehiscent
Seeds generally appendaged
Genera in family: 15 genera, 600 species: generally temp, worldwide; some cultivated as ornamental; some Eur species medicinally useful as emetics, diuretics, purgatives
Reference: [Brizicky 1961 J Arnold Arbor 42:321–333]

VIOLA

VIOLET

Annual or perennial herb < 35 cm, glabrous to hairy
Leaf entire to compound
Inflorescence: flower generally solitary, axillary
Flower bilateral; sepals subequal, appendaged at base; petals unequal, lowest spurred or pouched at base, lateral 2 equal, generally spreading, often hairy near base, upper 2 equal, erect; lower 2 stamens with nectaries projecting into spur
Fruit: capsule, ovoid to oblong
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name)
Reference: [Clausen 1964 Madroño 17:173–197]
Cleistogamous flowers generally present. Seeds often dispersed by ants that feed on seed-appendages.

Native

V. ocellata Torr. & A. Gray

WESTERN HEART'S EASE

Plant 5–37 cm
Stem prostrate to erect from generally erect rhizome, finely hairy
Leaves simple; blade base truncate to generally deeply cordate; basal blade midvein 10–60 mm, lower ovate-cordate; cauline smaller, petiole 3–90 mm
Inflorescence: peduncle 10–100 mm
Flower: petals white with yellow base and spur, lowest (including spur) 8–15 mm, with yellow patch near base, lower 3 veined red-purple, lateral 2 bearded with yellow club-shaped hairs, purple eye-spot near base, at least upper 2 deep red-violet outside
Fruit 5–8 mm, minutely scabrous, green
Chromosomes: n=6
Ecology: Rocky or grassy banks, thickets, often on serpentine
Elevation: 150–1100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range Foothills, n&s Central Western California
Distribution outside California: sw Oregon
Horticultural information: IRR, DRN: 4, 5 &SHD: 6, 7, 15, 16, 17.

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