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goosefoot violet, mountain violet, pine violet, purple-mark yellow violet

Habit Plants perennial, caulescent, not stoloniferous, 1.5–25 cm.

1–5(–7), decumbent or spreading to erect, leafy proximally and distally, ± glabrous, puberulent, canescent, or tomentose, on caudex from subligneous rhizome.


basal and cauline;

basal: 1–6;

stipules adnate to petiole, forming 2 linear, membranous wings, wing margins entire or laciniate, each wing with lanceolate to ± deltate projection, margins entire or laciniate, apex acute to long-acuminate;

petiole 1.8–14.5 cm, puberulent to tomentose;

blade purplish, purple-tinted, or gray-green abaxially, gray, green, or gray-green adaxially, sometimes shiny adaxially, ovate, orbiculate, oblong, deltate, or lanceolate, 0.8–5.3 × 0.4–4.1 cm, often fleshy, base cordate, subcordate, truncate, or attenuate, oblique or not, margins usually ± crenate, serrate, dentate, or coarsely or irregularly repand-dentate, sometimes entire, usually ciliate, apex acute to obtuse or rounded, surfaces glabrous, puberulent, or tomentose;

cauline similar to basal except: stipules linear, lanceolate, oblanceolate, or ± oblong to ovate, margins entire, lacerate, or laciniate, usually ciliate, apex sometimes divided into 2–3 filiform processes or obtuse;

petiole 0.3–19.7 cm, glabrous or puberulent;

blade ovate, oblong, elliptic, deltate, or lanceolate, 0.9–5.2 × 0.2–2.9 cm, length 0.8–7.1 times width, margins crenate, serrate, dentate, repand-denticulate, undulate-denticulate, sinuate, undulate, or entire, abaxial surface puberulent, canescent, or tomentose, adaxial surface glabrous, sparsely pubescent, puberulent, canescent, or tomentose.


ovoid to ± spherical, 4–7 mm, puberulent.


light to dark brown or mottled gray and brown, 2–3.1 mm.


= 12.

Viola purpurea

from FNA
AZ; CA; CO; ID; MT; NV; OR; UT; WA; WY; BC; nw Mexico
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Varieties 7 (7 in the flora).

Varieties of Viola purpurea are variable and intergrade. All are found in California; six occur in other western states, one in Mexico, and one in British Columbia. Mature plants are needed for determination.

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

1. Basal and cauline leaf blade surfaces tomentose
var. aurea
1. Basal and cauline leaf blade surfaces ± glabrous, canescent, or puberulent
→ 2
2. Stems mostly buried, not much elongated by end of season; plants 1.5–9(–12) cm
→ 3
2. Stems usually not buried, usually elongated by end of season; plants 3–25 cm
→ 4
3. Cauline leaf margins usually entire, sometimes sinuate; basal leaf margins ± crenate to irregularly repand-dentate or entire.
var. integrifolia
3. Cauline leaf margins usually coarsely crenate or dentate, sometimes ± serrate or ± entire; basal leaf margins coarse-serrate or irregularly dentate or crenate with 2–4 rounded teeth per side
var. venosa
4. Basal leaf base cordate or truncate
var. dimorpha
4. Basal leaf base usually attenuate, sometimes subcordate or truncate
→ 5
5. Cauline leaf blade length 3.2–7.1 times width, margins usually undulate-denticulate, sometimes entire
var. mesophyta
5. Cauline leaf blade length 1–3 times width, margins with 3–4(–5) pointed or rounded teeth per side or crenate-serrate
→ 6
6. Basal leaf blade margins irregularly crenate, without pointed or rounded teeth; adaxial surface often shiny.
var. purpurea
6. Basal leaf blade margins dentate-serrate with 4–5(–6) pointed or rounded teeth per side; adaxial surface not shiny.
var. mohavensis
Source FNA vol. 6, p. 150.
Parent taxa 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. 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. 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. purpurea var. aurea, V. purpurea var. dimorpha, V. purpurea var. integrifolia, V. purpurea var. mesophyta, V. purpurea var. mohavensis, V. purpurea var. purpurea, V. purpurea var. venosa
Name authority Kellogg: Pacific (San Francisco), 2 Feb. 1855: unnumb. (1855)
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