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Viola purpurea subsp. 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).
Species: Viola purpureaView Description 

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.

Viola purpurea Kellogg subsp. purpurea
Habit: Plant 3--25 cm, +- glabrous or puberulent. Stem: generally not buried, spreading to erect, generally elongated by end of season. Leaf: basal petiole 4--11 cm, blade 1.6--4.5 cm, 1.6--4.1 cm wide, +- round, +- unlobed, irregularly crenate, generally +- glabrous, occasionally shiny adaxially, +- fleshy, purple-tinted abaxially, base generally tapered, tip acute to obtuse; cauline petiole 1.5--6.9 cm, blade 0.3--2.9 cm, 1--5 cm wide, lanceolate to triangular, crenate-serrate, base +- cordate, truncate, or tapered, tip acute. Inflorescence: peduncle 4.5--10 cm. Flower: lowest petal 10--12 mm. Fruit: 5--6 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=12.
Ecology: In openings or beneath shrubs, generally in yellow-pine forest or higher; Elevation: 213--2896 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, SN, CW, SW, MP; Distribution Outside California: southwestern Oregon, northern Baja California. Flowering Time: Mar--Jul
Synonyms: Viola kelloggii A. Nelson
eFlora Treatment Author: R. John Little
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Previous taxon: Viola purpurea subsp. mohavensis
Next taxon: Viola purpurea subsp. quercetorum

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botanical illustration including Viola purpurea subsp. purpurea


Citation for this treatment: R. John Little 2017. Viola purpurea subsp. purpurea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 18, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 18, 2017.

Viola purpurea subsp. purpurea
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© 2012 Gary A. Monroe
Viola purpurea subsp. purpurea
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© 2015 Neal Kramer
Viola purpurea subsp. purpurea
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© 2010 Barry Breckling
Viola purpurea subsp. purpurea
click for enlargement
© 2012 Gary A. Monroe
Viola purpurea subsp. purpurea
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© 1988 Gary A. Monroe
Viola purpurea subsp. purpurea
click for enlargement
© 2015 Neal Kramer

More photos of Viola purpurea subsp. purpurea in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Viola purpurea subsp. purpurea:
NW, CaR, SN, CW, SW, MP;
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.