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Plant Description


Viola lanceolata L.

En: bog white violet, eastern water violet
Fr: violette lancéolée, violette élancée

Violaceae (Violet Family)

Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
Viola lanceolataflpl Viola lanceolataflw


General: An erect, perennial forb, to 1.7 dm tall, arising from a slender rhizome, spreading in late summer by stolons that bear cleistogamous flowers. Stems, leaves, and flower stalks (peduncles) are smooth (glabrous).

Leaves: basal, simple, palmately-veined, glabrous, petiolate. Leaf blades lanceolate or narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate, 2.5–12 cm long, and up to 2.5 cm wide; bright to dark green; the base of the leaf tapers gradually to the petiole, which is often reddish, especially at the base, and slightly winged; the leaf apex is blunt (obtuse) to rounded; margins are crenate, with low, rounded teeth.

Flowers: Bisexual; basal, peduncles slender, reddish and often taller than the leaves. Sepals 5, lanceolate, with sharply pointed (acuminate) tips; petals 5, white, the lower petal veined with purple, all petals beardless; stamens 5, the anthers surrounding the pistil and touching but not fused to each other (anthers connivent); the single pistil with a superior ovary. Cleistogamous flowers nodding, borne on erect peduncles, shorter than the leaves, originating from the rhizome and from the nodes of the stolons. Flowers bloom in late May to early June.

Fruit: an ellipsoid to ovoid capsule, 6–8 mm long, green, glabrous; seeds olive to dark brown, about 1.5 mm long. Fruits mature in late spring and early summer.

Habitat and Range: Damp to wet meadows, bogs, open peaty ground, and shores, often found partially submerged, hence the alternate common name, eastern water violet. The lanceleaf violet is found throughout eastern North America; in extends are far north as Schreiber in northern Ontario (Scoggan 1968).

Internet Images: The Viola lanceolata webpage from the Flora and Fauna of the Upper Ottawa Valley website.

The
Viola lanceolata webpage from the Gallery of Connecticut Wildflowers, a website of the Connecticut Botanical Society.

Similar Species: Viola x primulifolia, the primroseleaf violet, is considered to be a hybrid between V. lanceolata and V. macloskeyi (northern white violet). The leaves of V. x primulifolia are long petioled with ovate blades, much wider than those of V. lanceolata, as shown in the link above from Delaware Wildflowers and these images of V. x primulifolia from the Gallery of Connecticut Wildflowers.

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