Fleetwoodmac's picture


Observed: 20th May 2010 By: Fleetwoodmac

I am lead to believe that this is a protected plant. I have being told that it only grows near lead mines.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Tricolor pansy (Viola tricolor) interacts


Chris Metherell's picture

Viola spp.

The classic way to tell V. tricolor from V.lutea (the Mountain Pansy which does indeed grow in lead and other metal contaminated sites) was to look at the terminal segment of the stipule, which we cannot see in this photo. If the segment was distinctly wider than the others = V. tricolor if not or scarcely so = V. lutea. A tricky distinction. A better method is to look at the sepal appendages and the spur. Spur 2-3 times as long as appendage = V. lutea, equal to or a little greater than appendage = V. tricolor. The subsp. of V. tricolor which Kluut refers to, and which is perennial (V. tricolor is usually annual) is is now known as subsp. curtsii. - normally found on sand dunes. Can't tell which one this is without more detail but, if it was found at a heavy metal site it is probably V. lutea.

Chris Metherell
BSBI VC Recorder
North Northumberland

Fleetwoodmac's picture

Chris Metherell

Thanks for your expert comments.

The Mountain Pansy was found in Middlehope Lead mine, Westgate, Co Durham, with a wood named Split Wood along side. I feel that the mine had being heavily used in the past. I could not help but notice the clinical cut off where the Pansy's were growing and then when they stopped growing. They stopped growing about two hundred yards from the centre of the lead mine.

I had deleted some photos before I had read your comments.

Laurence Short