Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Viola purpurea

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 purpurea Kellogg
Habit: Perennial herb. Stem: prostrate to erect, generally several, clustered on 1--several subterranean caudices from woody rhizome. Leaf: simple, base tapered or truncate to cordate, often oblique; basal 1--6 per caudex, stipule oblong, fused to, forming 2 membranous wings on petiole, entire or few-toothed, the tip of each wing free, deltate or lanceolate, generally fringed, blade 0.8--5.3 cm, 0.4--4.1 cm wide, lanceolate to round; cauline petiole 0.3--12.3 cm, blade 0.3--4.8 cm, 0.3--5 cm wide, ovate, oblong, elliptic, triangular, diamond-shaped or lanceolate, crenate, serrate or dentate with 3--4(5) prominent pointed or rounded lobes per side, shallowly dentate, sharp angled, or entire, occasionally wavy. Inflorescence: axillary; peduncle 1--17 cm. Flower: sepals lanceolate, ciliate or not; petals deep lemon-yellow, upper 2, sometimes lateral 2 red- to purple-brown abaxially, lower 3 veined dark brown, lateral 2 bearded with club-shaped hairs, lowest petal 6--16 mm. Fruit: 4--12 mm, ovoid to +- spheric, puberulent. Seed: 2.1--3.1 mm, light to dark brown or gray, mottled brown. Chromosomes: 2n=12,24.
Note: Subspecies variable, intergrade, need study; no additional subspecies.
Unabridged Note: Subspecies variable, intergrade, need study; no additional subspecies; plants in shade often produce larger leaves, longer stems.
eFlora Treatment Author: R. John Little
Jepson Online Interchange

Previous taxon: Viola primulifolia subsp. occidentalis
Next taxon: Viola purpurea subsp. aurea

Name Search


Citation for this treatment: R. John Little 2016. Viola purpurea, 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.

Viola purpurea subsp. quercetorum
click for enlargement
© 2010 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Viola purpurea subsp. aurea
click for enlargement
© 2012 Steve Matson
Viola purpurea subsp. quercetorum
click for enlargement
© 2006 George W. Hartwell
Viola purpurea
click for enlargement
© 2006 Steve Matson
Viola purpurea subsp. quercetorum
click for enlargement
© 2010 Barry Breckling
Viola purpurea
click for enlargement
© 1994 Gary A. Monroe

More photos of Viola purpurea in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Viola purpurea:
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.