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 2017. Viola arvensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 20, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 20, 2017.

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. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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.