Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Viola ocellata

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 ocellata Torr. & A. Gray
Habit: Perennial herb 2--37 cm, +- glabrous to generally puberulent. Stem: ascending to erect, generally several, from shallow rhizome or a deep rhizomatous caudex with fleshy roots. Leaf: simple; basal 1--6 per caudex, +- glabrous to generally puberulent, petiole 3.7--10 cm, blade 1--6 cm, 1.2--4 cm wide, ovate, deltate, +- reniform, crenate, base generally +- cordate, tip acute; cauline petiole 0.4--9 cm, blade 1.6--4.4 cm, 1.1--3.6 cm wide, ovate, deltate, triangular, crenate to +- serrate, base +- cordate to truncate, tip acute to obtuse. Inflorescence: axillary; peduncle 1--10 cm. Flower: sepals lanceolate, +- ciliate; petals white adaxially, upper 2 deep red-violet abaxially with yellow basally, lateral 2 with large purple spot basally above smaller yellow area, bearded with club-shaped hairs, lowest petal 5--15 mm with large yellow spot basally, veined purple. Fruit: 5--8 mm, round-ovoid, minutely scabrous. Seed: +- 2 mm, brown-purple. Chromosomes: 2n=12.
Ecology: Moist or vernally moist areas, rocky or grassy banks, thickets, yellow-pine, redwood forest, often on serpentine; Elevation: 75--1280 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaRF, n&s CW; Distribution Outside California: southwestern Oregon. Flowering Time: Mar--Jul
eFlora Treatment Author: R. John Little
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botanical illustration including Viola ocellata


Citation for this treatment: R. John Little 2017. Viola ocellata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 19, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 19, 2017.

Viola ocellata
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© 2016 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Viola ocellata
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© 2004 Aaron Schusteff
Viola ocellata
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© 2009 California Academy of Sciences
Viola ocellata
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© 2011 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Viola ocellata
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Viola ocellata
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© 2016 Julie Kierstead Nelson

More photos of Viola ocellata in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Viola ocellata:
NW, CaRF, n&s CW;
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

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