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

Viola tricolor L.
Johnny-jump-up (European wild pansy; johnny jumpup; Northern Violet)
Violaceae (Violet family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10041)

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Distribution of Viola tricolor
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Viola tricolor var. tricolor

Species Information

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Annual herb from a fibrous root, without stolons; stems prostrate to ascending, angled, often branched from the base, 10-30 cm tall/long.
Basal leaves few, soon deciduous; stem leaves rounded below, oblong to heart-shaped or elliptic upwards, toothed; stipules leaflike, 8-14 mm long, deeply lobed, the lobes 5-9, the terminal lobe largest.
Inflorescence of single, axillary flowers; petals 5, blue-violet with yellow bases, sometimes yellow, the lower petal 10-16 mm long including the 1- to 2-mm long spur, the lower 3 black-pencilled at the base; sepals 5, broadly lanceolate, with earlike lobes at the base, fringed; style heads smooth.
Capsules, smooth, egg-shaped, 5-8 mm long; seeds light brown.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides and waste areas in the lowland and montane zones; infrequent in S BC; 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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

viola tricolor subsp. tricolor L.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References