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

Viola epipsila Ledeb.
Northern Marsh Violet (Canada Violet; dwarf marsh violet)
Violaceae (Violet family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #66534)

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Distribution of Viola epipsila
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Viola epipsila ssp. repens

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a rhizome, with stolons, 10-15 cm tall/long; stems lacking.
Basal leaves heart-shaped to kidney-shaped, smooth, 1.0-2.5 cm long in flower, to 3.5 cm long in fruit, the margins blunt-toothed; stipules lanceolate, entire, papery; bracts on the flowering stalk inserted above the middle and only 2 leaves produced with the flowers; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence of single, axillary flowers; petals 5, violet to lilac, the lower petal 9-16 mm long including the 2- to 3-mm long spur, the lower 3 usually with darker lines, the lateral pair smooth to sparsely bearded; sepals 5, narrowly egg-shaped; style heads smooth.
Capsules, elliptical, smooth; seeds brown.
As evident from the confusion existing in the current literature the relationships among V. epipsila ssp. repens, V. palustris and V. pallens require a critical investigation (Packer 1991). The main concern in BC is with V. epipsila ssp. repens and V. palustris, which intergrade and are often difficult to separate. Some Russian and North American taxonomists regard V. epipsila ssp. repens to be a quite distinct species and their name for our species would be V. achyrophora (V. epipsiloides).

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet bogs, meadows, marshes and streambanks in the subalpine and alpine zones; locally frequent in N BC; amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and NT; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Viola epipsila

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) 430 1028 1482
Slope Gradient (%) 0 1 12
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
22 40 70
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 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: BWBS(2), ESSF(5), SBS(6)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References