Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Viola palustris

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 palustris L.
Habit: Perennial herb to 19 cm, from thin rhizomes, stoloned in summer, generally glabrous. Stem: 0. Leaf: simple, basal, ascending to erect, generally glabrous, petiole 1--17 cm, blade 0.5--6.4 cm, 0.5--5.5 cm wide, reniform, ovate, or round, finely crenate, not ciliate, base cordate, tip obtuse to acuminate. Inflorescence: scapose; peduncle 2--20.7 cm. Flower: sepals ovate to lance-ovate, not ciliate; petals lilac, pale blue, or +- white, lower 3 veined purple, lateral 2 bearded with cylindric hairs, lowest 8--16 mm. Fruit: 6--10 mm, elliptic, glabrous. Seed: 1--2 mm, brown. Chromosomes: 2n=48.
Ecology: Marshes, swamps, streambanks, often beneath shrubs; Elevation: < 75 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, Alberta, northeastern North America, South Dakota, Colorado, Arizona; also in Europe. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul
Synonyms: Viola palustris subsp. brevipes M.S. Baker; Viola palustris var. brevipes (M.S. Baker) R.J. Davis
eFlora Treatment Author: R. John Little
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Viola odorata
Next taxon: Viola pedunculata

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botanical illustration including Viola palustris


Citation for this treatment: R. John Little 2016. Viola palustris, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 21, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 21, 2016.

Geographic subdivisions for Viola palustris:
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.
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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.