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Unfamiliar violet/ Roanoke,Va.

Posted by Arcadia_Va (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 19, 05 at 2:17

During one of my birding forays I ran across a violet that I can't find in my wildflower books so I turned to the internet and found this site. The leaves are oval and remind me more of common plantain than typical violet leaves. They did not appear to be hairy. The leaves form a rosette and lay close to the ground. The largest plants are only 2-3 inches in diameter. The flowers are purple and there are 1-2 flowers per plant.The flowers are on separate stems and are held an inch or less above the plant. They are blooming now (4/19). They are growing in shade under tall pines in rocky soil. I'm hoping someone can make an I.D. from this description. Also is there a book that covers most native American violets? One further question, how common/rare are white Bird foot violets?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Unfamiliar violet/ Roanoke,Va.

Check the description of my fuzzy violet under missa's post "where to get different violets at reasonable price". I know you said yours wasn't hairy, but mine is more or less hairy under different circumstances.
I've got a picture that I'll try to post this week - take a look and see if it could be the same as yours. If so, there's two of us looking for an ID!


RE: Unfamiliar violet/ Roanoke,Va.

Arcadia -

The book is "Wild Violets of North America", 1942, by Viola Brainerd Baird. There were only about 1000 copies printed, so don't expect to trip over copies that easily.

We really need a piccy to identify your violet...

Meanwhile, try the key at It is primarily for Pennsylvania, but many of the species occur in Virginia, too.

The checklist at
may also be of some help, but note that it contains quite a lot of spelling errors in species names.

But try the link below, too (it seems strangely slow at the moment, though). Here you will be able to determine which species of violet grow wild in Virginia, and get some details about them, including some photos.

Try also


Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Plant database

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