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Flett's violet, Olympic violet

arctic yellow violet, European field pansy, northern violet, queen Charlotte twinflower violet, twinflower violet

Habit Plants perennial, caulescent, not stoloniferous, 3–15 cm. Plants perennial, caulescent, not stoloniferous, 3–20(–25) cm.
Stems

1–3, ascending to erect, mostly glabrous, on caudex from fleshy rhizome.

1–3+, ascending or erect, leafy proximally and distally, glabrous, on caudex from fleshy rhizome.

Leaves

basal and cauline;

basal: 1–3;

stipules linear-lanceolate, margins entire or with glandular processes, apex acuminate;

petiole 1.5–9.7 cm, mostly glabrous;

blade purple-tinted and –veined, broadly reniform to ovate, 0.9–2.4 × 1.2–4 cm, base cordate, margins finely crenate-serrate, eciliate, apex acute to obtuse, surfaces glabrous or sparsely pubescent along veins adaxially;

cauline similar to basal except: stipules ovate to lanceolate, margins entire or shallowly laciniate;

petiole 0.7–5.9 cm, usually glabrous;

blade 0.8–2.1 × 1.2–3.1 cm.

basal and cauline;

basal: 2–3(–4);

stipules ovate-lanceolate, ovate, or oblong, margins entire, apex ± acute;

petiole 1.5–15 cm, glabrous;

blade broadly reniform to orbiculate, 0.5–4.6 × 0.9–6.4 cm, base cordate, margins crenate to crenate-serrate, ciliate, apex obtuse, rounded, or truncate, rarely with terminal point, abaxial surface sparsely puberulent on veins, adaxial surface glabrate to ± densely puberulent;

cauline similar to basal except: stipules lanceolate, ovate, or oblong, margins entire to erose, apex acute to obtuse;

petiole 0.3–7(–10) cm;

blade sometimes ovate, 0.8–3.7 × 1–4.8 cm.

Peduncles

1.8–7.1 cm, usually glabrous.

2–9 cm, usually glabrous.

Flowers

sepals lanceolate, margins eciliate, auricles 0.5–1.5 mm;

petals soft reddish violet on both surfaces, all with yellow area basally, lower 3 dark violet-veined, lateral 2 bearded, lowest with white around yellow area, 10–15 mm, spur yellow, gibbous, 0.5–2 mm;

style head bearded; cleistogamous flowers axillary.

sepals with or without purple stripe on both sides of midvein, narrowly lanceolate to oblong, margins ciliate or eciliate, auricles 0.5–1 mm;

petals deep lemon-yellow on both surfaces, lower 3 and often upper 2 brownish purple-veined, lateral 2 beardless, lowest 6–15 mm, spur yellow to yellowish green, gibbous, 2–2.5 mm;

style head beardless; cleistogamous flowers axillary.

Capsules

± spherical, 5–9 mm, glabrous.

oblong-ovoid, 3–6 mm, glabrous or sparsely pubescent.

Seeds

dark brown to brownish purple, 2.5–3 mm.

purple, sometimes streaked with light and dark brown, 1.5–2.5 mm.

Viola flettii

Viola biflora

Phenology Flowering Jun–Aug.
Habitat Alpine and subalpine rock crevices, vertical faces, talus slopes
Elevation 1100–2000 m [3600–6600 ft]
Distribution
from FNA
WA
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
AK; CO; BC; YT; Europe; Asia
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
Discussion

Viola flettii is endemic to the Olympic Mountains of northwestern Washington. C. S. McCreary (2005) noted that although morphologically and ecologically distinct, V. cuneata, V. flettii, and V. ocellata are closely related.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Varieties 5 (2 in the flora).

Viola biflora may be the most widely distributed species of the genus in the Northern Hemisphere. Although occurring most often in mountainous areas at high elevations, it is known from Alaska near the coast at elevations of ca. 45 m (PNW Herbaria Portal 2010) and has been reported from lowland meadows in Kamchatka (V. B. Baird 1942), and is occasionally found near sea level in exposed rocky habitats on the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands (R. A. Calder and R. L. Taylor 1968).

Sometimes described as high latitude, circumpolar, Viola biflora also occurs in mid latitudes north of the equator. It is not truly circumpolar; it does not occur in eastern Canada or in Greenland. The deeply cleft style head sets V. biflora apart from all other species in North America. V. B. Baird (1942) suggested that the occasional presence of two cleistogamous flowers in the axil of the same leaf may account for the name “biflora.”

H. N. Ridley (1930) said that in Europe, deer (Cervus dama Linnaeus and Rangifer tarandus Linnaeus) may play a role in the dispersal of Viola biflora; seeds have been recovered from their droppings.

Nonflowering Viola biflora can be confused with V. renifolia where their ranges overlap in Yukon, Alaska, and Colorado.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Key
1. Lowest petal 6–10 mm; seeds 1.5–2 mm; sepals usually without purple stripe; Yukon, Alaska, Colorado.
V. biflora var. biflora
1. Lowest petal 11–15 mm; seeds 2.5 mm; sepals usually with purple stripe; Queen Charlotte Islands, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
V. biflora var. carlottae
Source FNA vol. 6, p. 131. FNA vol. 6, p. 123.
Parent taxa Violaceae > Viola Violaceae > Viola
Sibling taxa
V. adunca, V. affinis, V. arvensis, V. bakeri, V. beckwithii, V. bicolor, V. biflora, V. blanda, V. brittoniana, V. canadensis, V. canina, V. charlestonensis, V. clauseniana, V. cucullata, V. cuneata, V. douglasii, V. egglestonii, V. epipsila, V. frank-smithii, V. glabella, V. guadalupensis, V. hallii, V. hastata, V. hirsutula, V. howellii, V. japonica, V. labradorica, V. lanceolata, V. langsdorffii, V. lithion, V. lobata, V. macloskeyi, V. missouriensis, V. nephrophylla, V. novae-angliae, V. nuttallii, V. ocellata, V. odorata, V. orbiculata, V. palmata, V. palustris, V. pedata, V. pedatifida, V. pedunculata, V. pinetorum, V. praemorsa, V. primulifolia, V. prionantha, V. pubescens, V. purpurea, V. quercetorum, V. renifolia, V. riviniana, V. rostrata, V. rotundifolia, V. sagittata, V. selkirkii, V. sempervirens, V. septemloba, V. sheltonii, V. sororia, V. striata, V. subsinuata, V. tomentosa, V. tricolor, V. trinervata, V. tripartita, V. umbraticola, V. utahensis, V. vallicola, V. villosa, V. walteri
V. adunca, V. affinis, V. arvensis, V. bakeri, V. beckwithii, V. bicolor, V. blanda, V. brittoniana, V. canadensis, V. canina, V. charlestonensis, V. clauseniana, V. cucullata, V. cuneata, V. douglasii, V. egglestonii, V. epipsila, V. flettii, V. frank-smithii, V. glabella, V. guadalupensis, V. hallii, V. hastata, V. hirsutula, V. howellii, V. japonica, V. labradorica, V. lanceolata, V. langsdorffii, V. lithion, V. lobata, V. macloskeyi, V. missouriensis, V. nephrophylla, V. novae-angliae, V. nuttallii, V. ocellata, V. odorata, V. orbiculata, V. palmata, V. palustris, V. pedata, V. pedatifida, V. pedunculata, V. pinetorum, V. praemorsa, V. primulifolia, V. prionantha, V. pubescens, V. purpurea, V. quercetorum, V. renifolia, V. riviniana, V. rostrata, V. rotundifolia, V. sagittata, V. selkirkii, V. sempervirens, V. septemloba, V. sheltonii, V. sororia, V. striata, V. subsinuata, V. tomentosa, V. tricolor, V. trinervata, V. tripartita, V. umbraticola, V. utahensis, V. vallicola, V. villosa, V. walteri
Subordinate taxa
V. biflora var. biflora, V. biflora var. carlottae
Synonyms Chrysion biflorum
Name authority Piper: Erythea 6: 69. (1898) Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 2: 936. (1753)
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