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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 6 | Violaceae | Viola

8. Viola blanda Willdenow, Hort. Berol. 1(2): plate 24. 1804.
[E F]

Sweet white violet, violette agréable Sweet white violet, violette agréable

Viola blanda var. palustriformis A. Gray; V. incognita Brainerd; V. incognita var. forbesii Brainerd; V. leconteana G. Don

Plants perennial, acaulescent, stoloniferous, 3–20 cm; stolons pale, often rooting and leafy at nodes; rhizome short, slender, fleshy. Leaves basal, 2–9, prostrate to ascending; stipules linear-lanceolate, margins entire, apex acute; petiole 2–11 cm, usually sparsely pubescent; blade unlobed, reniform to ovate, 2–4 × 2–4 cm, base cordate, lobes often overlapping, margins serrate, ciliate or eciliate, apex rounded or acute to acuminate, surfaces sometimes glabrous, usually sparsely pubescent adaxially. Peduncles 3–11 cm, glabrous or pubescent. Flowers: sepals lanceolate to ovate, lanceolate to ovate, margins mostly eciliate, auricles 1–2 mm; petals white on both surfaces, lower 3 purple-veined, lateral 2 usually beardless, lowest 8–10 mm, spur white, gibbous, 1–2 mm; style head beardless; cleistogamous flowers axillary. Capsules ovoid to ellipsoid, 4–6 mm, glabrous. Seeds beige to bronze, 1.5–2 mm. 2n = 44, 48.

Flowering Apr–Jun. Rich woods; 30–2000 m; Alta., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.; Ala., Conn., Del., D.C., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.

Viola blanda occurs in small colonies; individual plants are interconnected by stolons.

Whether to recognize Viola incognita at any taxonomic level is currently unresolved. It is said to have pubescent leaf blades, greenish peduncles, nontwisted lateral petals, and a preference for moister habitats. Most of these characters fall within the range of variation observed in V. blanda.

N. H. Russell (1965) noted that Viola incognita is principally found in glaciated areas whereas V. blanda is found in nonglaciated areas. Á. Löve and D. Löve (1982b) and J. M. Canne (1987) reported a chromosome count of 2n = 44; J. Clausen (1929) and A. Gershoy (1934) reported 2n = 48. V. B. Baird (1942) reported that V. blanda (and V. incognita) have fragrant flowers.


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