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

Viola odorata L.
sweet violet
Violaceae (Violet family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bob Thacker  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #74306)

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Distribution of Viola odorata
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a rhizome, with stolons, plants up to 15 cm tall; stems lacking.
Basal leaves heart-shaped, toothed, the blades 2-6 cm long, 1.5-5 cm wide, the stalks up to 12 cm long, smooth or finely hairy; stem leaves lacking; stipules lanceolate, entire.
Inflorescence of single, axillary flowers; petals 5, white to violet, the lower petal 1.2-1.6 cm long including the 3- to 4-mm long pouched spur, the lower 3 not bearded, the lateral pair usually bearded; sepals 5, lanceolate; style heads hooked.
Capsules, smooth; seeds cream-coloured.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides and waste places in the lowland zone; infrequent on SE Vancouver Island, Galiano Island and the Vancouver area; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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