Picture ©1901 - Carl Axel Magnus Lindman
Hairy Violet - Viola hirta
Family - Violaceae
This plant is poisonous
Hairy violet is native to Europe, Asia and India, it is locally common in the UK and Ireland but not in all counties. It is usually to be found on dry banks, woodland, scrub and stony areas preferring drier conditions to that of Sweet Violet - Viola odorata, which also prefers the shade.
A perennial plant with a prostrate habit and no stolons, the heart-shaped leaves with chordate bases arise directly from the rootstock, the whole plant is hairy, or roughly hairy, giving it a greyish appearance. It flowers during March to May with pale violet-blue unscented flowers, blunt sepals and spreading hairs on the seed-pods, flower and leaf-stalks. Hairy violet is very similar to Sweet Violet - V. odorata and Early Dog-violet - V. reichenbachiana. Hairy violet is a food plant for the Dark Green Fritillary and High Brown Fritillary butterflies.
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