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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Violaceae

Viola Linn.


Description from Flora of China

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.

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.

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

  • List of lower taxa


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