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

Viola glabella Nutt.
stream violet (pioneer violet; yellow wood violet)
Violaceae (Violet family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© David Shackleton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #79635)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Viola glabella
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from a scaly, fleshy rhizome, without stolons; ascending to erect, smooth, 5-30 cm tall.
Basal leaves heart-shaped to kidney-shaped, toothed, smooth, the blades 5-9 cm long, 4-8 cm wide, the stalks 2.5-25 cm long, smooth; stem leaves similar, the stalks from shorter than to slightly longer than the blades; stipules egg-shaped, 0.5-1 cm long, entire.
Inflorescence of single, axillary flowers; petals 5, deep yellow, the lower petal 8-14 mm long including the 1- to 2-mm long spur, the lower 3 purplish-pencilled within, the lateral pair bearded; sepals 5, lanceolate; style heads densely bearded.
Capsules, smooth, 7-17 mm long; seeds brown to black.
Hybridizes with V. biflora ssp. carlottae on the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to moist streambanks, woodlands and forests in the lowland to alpine zones; frequent in BC south of 56degreeN; N to S AK, E to AB and S to MT, ID and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Viola glabella

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) 0 1011 2750
Slope Gradient (%) 0 18 220
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 222 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 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(9), BAFA(1), BWBS(12), CDF(1), CMA(1), CWH(625), ESSF(747), ICH(518), IDF(77), IMA(1), MH(70), MS(102), PP(2), SBPS(2), SBS(198), SWB(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant to very shade-intolerant, submontane to subalpine, Western North American herb distributed equally in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions. Occurs on very moist to wet, nitrogen-rich soils (Moder and Mull humus forms) within boreal, temperate, and cool mesothermal climates; its occurrence increases with increasing latitude and precipitation. Common in non-forested communities and open-canopy forests on water-receiving (flood-plains and stream-edge) sites. Usually associated with Athyrium filix-femina, Cornus sericea, Lysichitum americanum, Rubus spectabilis, and Tiarella trifoliata. A nitrophytic species characteristic of flooded sites.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References