Viola primulifolia

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Viola primulifolia
Viola primulifolia Gil.jpg
Photo taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Violales
Family: Violaceae
Genus: Viola
Species: V. primulifolia
Binomial name
Viola primulifolia
L. (pro sp.)
Viol prim dist.jpg
Natural range of Viola primulifolia from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Primrose-leaf violet

Taxonomic notes

Variations: Viola primulifolia var. acuta (Bigelow) Torrey & A. Gray; Viola primulifolia var. villosa Eaton.[1]


"Herbaceous, rhizomatous or stoloniferous perennials, or winter annuals. Leaves crenate or crenate-serrate, dissected, lobed or unlobed; petiolate; stipules conspicuous. Flowers zygomorphic, peduncles directly from the rhizome (acaulescent) or peduncles axillary (caulescent). Chasmogamous flowers with lateral petals often bearded, lower petal spurred; anthers usually seated in the throat, orange appendages conspicuous, lower stamens spurred; spurs fitting in to the spur of the corolla; styles usually clavate, variously shaped at the apex. Dates for Viola, except V. pedata, are for Chasmogamous flowering only, cleistogamous flowering and fruiting commence shortly after chasmogamous flowering and continues until frost. Hybrids are so numerous in this genus that space is not taken to list them."[2]

"Plant acaulescent, rhizomes slender, rarely to 4 mm in diam., stoloniferous. Leaves lance-ovate to widely lanceolate, acute to obtuse, crenate, base truncate to rounded, blade tissue decurrent on the petiole, glabrous or pubescent; petioles 2-18 cm long, glabrous or pubescent; stipules linear to linear-lanceolate, to 2 cm long, acute to acuminate, entire or fimbriate. Peduncles longer than to equaling leaves. Chasmogamous flowers 1-2 cm broad, petals white, beardless, spurred petal veins purple 4-6 mm long, acute, glabrous eciliate, auricles 0.5-1 mm long. Cleistogamous flowers on erect peduncles 2-11 cm long, sepals as in the chasmogamous flowers or auricles to 2 mm long. Capsule 5-8 mm long, glabrous. Seeds brown, 1-1.2 mm long."[2]




In the Coastal Plain in Florida and Georgia, V. primulifolia can be found in hardwood forests, bordering titi-flatwoods, river floodplains, meadows adjacent to rivers, wet flatwoods, pine-palmetto flats, mixed deciduous woods, pine-live oak sandy woodlands, shallow sphagnum bogs, beech magnolia forests, edges of cypress swamps, red bay swamps, burned pinewoods, and boggy areas.[3] It can also be found along powerline corridors, cultivated fields, sandy roads, roadsides and lawns. Soil types include loamy sand, sandy loam, sandy peat, sandy clay, and loam.[3]

Associated species include Viola lanceolata, Dryopteris, Illicium, Arisaema, Viola septemloba, Dichondra, Oxalis, Carex, and Juncus.[3]


V. primulifolia has been observed to flower January through April, June, and December with peak inflorescence in March; and to fruit February through June, November and December.[3][4]

Fire ecology

Populations of Viola primulifolia have been known to persist through repeated annual burning.[5]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

The flowers can be candied, used in soups and baking. The roots are toxic and should be avoided.[6]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draf of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 729. Print.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: July 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, James R. Burkhalter, Robert Kral, O. Lakela, S. C. Hood, Robert K. Godfrey, Lloyd H. Shinners, George R. Cooley, Joseph Monachino, C. Jackson, Robert L. Lazor, Patricia Elliot, Rodie White, R. A. Norris, Walter Kittredge, R. Komarek, J. M. Kane, Lisa Keppner, Ed Keppner. States and Counties: Florida: Bay, Calhoun, Clay, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hillsborough, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Pasco, Wakulla, Washington. Georgia: Grady, Thomas. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  4. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 15 DEC 2016
  5. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.
  6. Fernald, et al. 1958. Edible Plants of Eastern North America. Harper and Row Publishers, New York.