Dog Violet - Viola riviniana
Family - Violaceae
Also known as - Wood Violet
An attractive common and widespread UK and European native plant resembling a Pansy, found in woodland, grassland, heaths, hedgerows and old pasture growing to 5-20cm (2-8in) high. Single bluish-purple flowers of five petals with a white centre are seen from April to June, they are unscented unlike those of Sweet Violet - Viola odorata. The white centre is largest on the lower middle petal whish is also striped a darker purple whilst the two other lower petals on either side have a hairy appearance.
Pointed sepals, like other Violets found wild in the U.K. the Dog Violet has a spur which sticks out behind the flower, a features of V. riviniana is that the spur is a lighter colour than the petals and its tip is notched. Grows as a biennial or evergreen perennial, with simple or pinnately lobed alternate leaves with indented edges on long stalks, the flowers are seen in late spring and early summer. It has a rhizomatous growth structure and grows as a basal rosette. It was voted the county flower of Lincolnshire in 2002 following a poll by the wild flora conservation charity Plantlife.
FBCP do not advise or recommend that Dog Violet - Viola riviniana is eaten or used as a herbal remedy. The flowers and heart shaped leaves are edible although the leaves are said to be rather bland and slightly bitter.
Photo ©2006 Svdmolen
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