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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 13 | Violaceae

3. Viola Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 933. 1753.

堇菜属 jin cai shu

Herbs perennial or biennial, rarely subshrubs, rhizomatous. Stem developed or absent, sometimes with creeping branches. Leaves simple, alternate or basal, margin entire, dentate, or dissected; stipules small or large, leaflike, free or ± adnate to petioles. Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic, solitary, often dimorphic (cleistogamous flowers later than chasmogamous ones); pedicels axillary, 2-bracteolate. Sepals slightly equal, usually basally auriculate. Petals unequal, anterior petal largest and basally spurred. Filaments free, very short; anthers free or mostly connivent into a sheath around ovary, 2 anterior ones with spurlike or wartlike and nectariferous appendages at base, these extending into anterior spur, connectives produced apically into conspicuous, membranous appendages. Ovary 3-carpelled, with many ovuled parietal placentae; styles nearly erect or usually ± curved downward, ± thickened or sometimes gradually tapering toward apex, entire or variously appendaged; style apex and stigma variously shaped. Capsule loculicidally and elastically 3-valved, valves carinate and abaxially thickened. Seeds globose-ovoid, arillate or not, usually smooth; endosperm abundant; embryo straight; cotyledons rather thick, plano-convex.

About 550 species: cosmopolitan, chiefly in temperate regions of the N hemisphere; 96 species (35 endemic, three introduced) in China.

The identity of Viola curvicalcarata W. Becker & H. Boissieu (Bull. Herb. Boissier, sér. 2, 8: 740. 1908), described from Shaanxi, cannot be ascertained in this treatment because we have not seen any specimens of it.

1 Anterior petal shallowly saccate but not spurred; stipules free and small; flowers white to violet.   5 V. subg. Erpetion
+ Anterior petal spurred; stipules adnate or free; flowers violet, purple, rose, yellow, or white   (2)
2 (1) Stipules large, free, leaflike, deeply lobed; anterior petal broadly cuneate, with aerial stem.   4 V. subg. Melanium
+ Stipules small, entire or fimbriate; anterior petal narrowly ovate to linear-oblong, with or without aerial stem   (3)
3 (2) Flowers purple or white, never yellow; style beaked at apex; stipules adnate or free; plant with or without aerial stem.   1 V. subg. Viola
+ Flowers yellow, never purple; style not beaked at apex; stipules free; plant with aerial stem   (4)
4 (3) Lateral petals and stigmas beardless; stigmas bilobed; spur short or long.   2 V. subg. Dischidium
+ Lateral petals and stigmas bearded; stigmas capitate; spur very short   3 V. subg. Chamaemelanium

  • List of lower taxa


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