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. 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 UK 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 an 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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