scubamann's picture


Observed: 2nd May 2013 By: scubamannscubamann’s reputation in Plantsscubamann’s reputation in Plantsscubamann’s reputation in Plants

bunch of violets in hedgerow (ignore the primroses).
The petals are blue-violet with clear black lines on the lower "lip", and horn paler. Heart shaped leaves with defined veins.
I cannot smell anything so do not know if it has an aroma so cannot rule out Sweet violet.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which common dog violet (Viola riviniana) interacts


lavateraguy's picture

The basic rules for identifying the commoner violets are ...

... that Viola odorata has rounded sepals, and of the two species with triangular sepals Viola reichenbachiana has an unlobed spur darker than the rest of the corolla, and Viola riviniana has a lobed spur paler than the rest of the corolla.

scubamann's picture


My reference book used the aspect of aroma as the primary identifyer between V.odorata and V.riviniana, so I did not have that precision of description in my reference book, and I am basically an amateur just with an interest but I do try and get it right. Anosmia deprives me of access to many things; cooking, eating, flowers,sometimes personal hygiene (I cannot smell my clothes), my house on fire.
So further description of detail (though I am not sure my eyesight is that good these days) is appreciated.
So many thanks for the extra information. I will file that.

lavateraguy's picture

Even without anosmia ...

... there is individual variation in sensitivity to odours. I've never found a scented (to my nose) sweet violet, and yet I can smell scented orchid several yards away, but could barely detect the odour of lemon-scented fern.

cicuta58's picture


I, too have never detected an odour in Viola odorata. Sepals are much more reliable.


Amadan's picture

Sweet violets

Are said to be the result of forced selection - the more fragrant specimens being picked in huge numbers for sale in towns in the Victorian era.
This made the less-fragrant specimens much more likely to seed, hence we effectively bred them for lack of scent!

scubamann's picture

scented ? violets

Thank you all for your helpful and interesting comments