Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Viola arvensis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ViolaceaeView Description 

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, [small shrub, tree, vine], from caudices, taproots, rhizomes, or stolons; hairs 0 or simple. Stem: 0 or prostrate to erect. Leaf: basal, cauline, or both, alternate, [opposite], simple to compound, petioled; stipules generally small; blade linear to round, entire to toothed or lobed. Inflorescence: flowers 1 [raceme], axillary or scapose; peduncle bractlets 2, generally alternate. Flower: bisexual, bilateral [radial]; sepals 5, free, basal lobes present [0], generally not prominent; petals 5, free, lowest often largest, base +- elongated into a spur; stamens 5, alternate petals, filaments short, wide, with large in-pointing hairs, lowest 2 anthers with basal nectaries extending into petal spur; ovary superior, chamber 1, placentas parietal, 3, ovules [1] generally many, style 1, often enlarged distally, stigma often oblique or hooked, hairy or not. Fruit: capsule [berry], 3-valved, loculicidal, explosively dehiscent or not. Seed: generally with outgrowth, attractive to ants.
Genera In Family: 23 genera, 830 species: worldwide, generally temperate, tropics (especially higher elevations). Note: Lengths of lowest petal including spur.
eFlora Treatment Author: R. John Little
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: ViolaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: VIOLET
Leaf: generally deciduous. Flower: sepals +- equal, entire; petals unequal, lowest generally largest, with spur generally < 3 [20] mm, lateral 2 equal, generally spreading, upper 2 equal, erect or reflexed, overlapped or not, lateral 2 generally, others sometimes with beard of variously shaped hairs basally; cleistogamous flowers generally present, petals 0. Fruit: ovoid to oblong, hairy or not. Seed: 8--75.
Species In Genus: +- 500 species: temperate, worldwide, Hawaii, Andes. Etymology: (Latin: classical name) Note: Important orns including Viola odorata, Viola tricolor L. (Johnny-jump-up, wild pansy), Viola ×wittrockiana Gams (garden pansy).

Viola arvensis Murray
Habit: Annual 5--35 cm, +- glabrous to puberulent. Stem: prostrate to erect, generally several, branched at ground level, from taproot. Leaf: simple; basal 0; cauline stipules +- = leaf, palmately lobed, petiole 0.5--2.3 cm, upper leaf 0.8--3.4 cm, 0.3--1.9 cm wide, blade lanceolate or +- oblong to ovate, generally glabrous adaxially, hairy abaxially at least on major veins, coarsely crenate-serrate, ciliate or not, base rounded to wedge-shaped or lowest truncate, tip blunt to acute. Inflorescence: axillary; peduncle 2--8 cm. Flower: sepals lanceolate, = or generally > lateral petals, basal lobes prominent, to 4 mm, truncate; petals white to pale yellow, upper 4 +- violet, lower 3 with yellow basal area, often veined violet, lateral 2 bearded with club-shaped hairs, lowest 7--15 mm with dark yellow area basally, spur generally > 3 mm; cleistogamous flowers 0. Fruit: 5--9 mm, +- round, glabrous. Seed: 1.5--1.9 mm, brown. Chromosomes: 2n=34.
Ecology: Abandoned fields; Elevation: < 1333 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, CaR, SNF, GV, waif from cultivated elsewhere; Distribution Outside California: widespread North America; native to Europe; Siberia, northern Africa. Flowering Time: May--Jul Note: Vegetatively similar to Viola tricolor subsp. tricolor.
Synonyms: Viola tricolor L. var. arvensis (Murray) DC.
Unabridged Note: Roots have odor of wintergreen when crushed (Radford, et al. 1968) due to presence of methyl salicylate in endodermal secretory cells.
eFlora Treatment Author: R. John Little
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Citation for this treatment: R. John Little 2016. Viola arvensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2016.

Viola arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2010 Barry Breckling
Viola arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2010 Barry Breckling
Viola arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2010 Barry Breckling

More photos of Viola arvensis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Viola arvensis:
KR, CaR, SNF, GV, waif from cultivated elsewhere;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.