E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Viola nephrophylla Greene
northern bog violet
Violaceae (Violet family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #20029)

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Distribution of Viola nephrophylla
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Species Information

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Perennial from a thickened rhizome, without stolons, plants up to 25 cm tall; stems lacking.
Basal leaves heart-shaped to triangular, toothed, smooth or nearly so, the blades 3.5-7 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, the stalks 5-25 cm long; stem leaves lacking; stipules linear-lanceolate, entire.
Inflorescence of single, axillary flowers; petals 5, bluish-violet, the lower petal 10-20 mm long including the 2- to 3-mm long pouched spur, the lower 3 bearded and more or less whitish at the base, the lateral pair sometimes not bearded; sepals 5, lanceolate; style heads smooth.
Capsules, smooth, 8-10 mm long; seeds brown.
Two varieties occur in BC

1. All petals bearded................... var. cognata (Greene) C.L. Hitchc.

1. Only the lower three petals bearded........................ var. nephrophylla

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet meadows, thickets, marshes, open woodlands and streambanks in the montane to alpine zones; frequent in SE BC, rare northward, absent along the Coast N of 50degreeN; N to NT, E to NF and S to ME, NH, PA, WV, IN, IO, LA, TX, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Viola nephrophylla

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 326 1211 2150
Slope Gradient (%) 0 6 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
90 198 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 6 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(1), BWBS(1), ESSF(18), ICH(11), IDF(6), MS(3), SBPS(5), SBS(7)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Viola maccabeana M.S. Baker
Viola maccabeiana
Viola nephrophylla var. arizonica (Greene) Kearney & Peebles
Viola nephrophylla var. cognata (Greene) C.L. Hitchc.
Viola pratincola Greene
Viola retusa Greene

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References