Paul Roberts's picture

Violet - which Sp.?

Observed: 15th April 2013 By: Paul RobertsPaul Roberts’s reputation in PlantsPaul Roberts’s reputation in PlantsPaul Roberts’s reputation in PlantsPaul Roberts’s reputation in Plants
IMG_4277 Violet

Struggling (like many people) to ID this Viola sp. I thought Reichenbachiana on the basis of colour and that the spur is darker than the petals but still confused.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana) interacts


lavateraguy's picture

Did you take a note ...

... of the shape of the sepals?

Paul Roberts's picture


No unfortunately I didn't. Will try and make it back to that spot on Friday and see if I can take a pic.

lavateraguy's picture


Viola odorata has sepals with blunt rounded apices; Viola reichenbachiana and Viola riviniana have sepals with narrow pointed apices.

Viola odorata is variable in corolla colour, so the sepals offer a convenient easy way (there may be other ways) of distinguishing it from the other two species.

Both Viola odorata and Viola reichenbachiana are scarce in my neck of the woods, and last year, not knowing about the sepals, I was confusing them.

Chris Metherell's picture

Viola reichenbachiana

Apart from the difference in sepal detail, as stated above, V. odorata is a rather hairy plant, whereas V. reichenbachiana (and V. riviniana) are essentially glabrous. This looks glabrous and the pattern of veins on the basal petal looks right for V. reichenbachiana (which has unbranched dark veining, unlike V. riviniana which has branched veins). V. odorata is stoloniferous whereas the other two are not which may also help.

Chris Metherell
BSBI VC Recorder
North Northumberland

Paul Roberts's picture


Thanks very much both Chris Metherell and lavateraguy. We have V. odorata, V. riviniana and V. reichenbachiana all reported in these woods. Your comments have been very helpful indeed, thanks again, Paul