Viola striata Ait.

Pale Violet

Viola striata plant

Family - Violaceae

Stems - To +30cm tall, herbaceous, multiple from caudex or short rhizomes, glabrous.

Leaves - Lower leaves glabrous, on petiole to +/-5cm long, serrate. Blade reniform to cordate, apex rounded or acute, to +2cm broad, +1.7cm long. Upper leaves glabrous, on petioles to +3cm long, cordate, serrate, to +4cm long, +3cm broad. Stipules at base of petiole to 2cm long, -1cm broad, lanceolate, margins distinctly lacerate.

Viola striata plantLower leaves.

Viola striata plantUpper leaf.

Viola striata stipuleStipule close-up.

Inflorescence - Single flower from leaf axil. Peduncle to +8cm long, glabrous, curved at apex, with two bracts somewhere in upper half. Bracts attenuate, to 9mm long, 1mm broad.

Flowers - Corolla to 2.5cm broad, +2cm long. Petals 5, creamy white with purple venation inside. Lateral petals bearded just on upper half near "throat" of corolla. Lower petal spurred at base (saccate). Stamens 5, connate around ovary, lower two with curved nectaries to 3mm long extending into petal spur. Ovary conic, glabrous. Style to -3mm long, with bristles near apex, triangular at tip. Sepals 5, to 1.4cm long, 2mm broad, linear, with scarious margins, minutely ciliate near base. Auricles to -3mm long, rounded or somewhat pointed.

Viola striata calyxCalyx.

Viola striata flowerFlower close-up.

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Rich moist ground of slopes, woods, streambanks.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This is an easy Viola to identify because of the lacerate stipules, cream-colored flowers, and the fact that the flowers arise from the leaf axils. It is common in low-alluvial areas. V. striata can associated with other neat plants such as Elymus virginicus and Laportea canadensis.

Photographs taken in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, 5-24-03.