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3-nerve violet, desert pansy, Rainier or sagebrush or three-nerve violet, Rainier violet, sagebrush violet, three-nerve violet

Habit Plants perennial, caulescent, not stoloniferous, 5–15 cm.

1–4, decumbent, ascending, or erect, ca. 1/2 subterranean, glabrous, from single, vertical, deep-seated caudex.


basal and cauline;

basal: 1–7, palmately compound, leaflets 3–5;

stipules adnate to petiole, forming 2 linear-lanceolate wings, unlobed, margins entire, apex of each wing free, acute;

petiole 4.5–15 cm, glabrous;

blade reniform or ovate to ± orbiculate, 2–5 × 2.5–5 cm, coriaceous, base tapered, leaflets cleft or dissected into 2–3 elliptic, lanceolate, or oblanceolate lobes 2–7 mm wide, margins usually entire, eciliate, apex acute, mucronulate, surfaces glabrous (± glaucous), abaxial surface usually with prominent vein parallel to each margin;

cauline similar to basal except: stipules lanceolate;

petiole 1–5.5 cm;

blade 1–3 × 2–4.5 cm.


1.1–7 cm, glabrous.


sepals lanceolate, margins eciliate, auricles 0–1 mm;

petals: upper 2 often overlapping, dark reddish violet on both surfaces, lower 3 lilac, rarely white, lateral 2 bearded, with yellow patch basally and reddish violet patch distal to yellow patch, lowest 9–15 mm with yellow patch, dark reddish violet-veined, spur yellow, gibbous, 0.6–1.5 mm;

style head bearded; cleistogamous flowers absent.


ovoid, 7–12 mm, glabrous.


tan, 3.2–4.5 mm.

Viola trinervata

Phenology Flowering Mar–May.
Habitat Sagebrush flats, dry, rocky hillsides, usually in gravelly soil
Elevation 400–1200 m (1300–3900 ft)
from FNA
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]

In some populations of Viola trinervata the lower three petals are white with a yellow area proximally (V. B. Baird 1942).

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

Source FNA vol. 6, p. 161.
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. 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. tripartita, V. umbraticola, V. utahensis, V. vallicola, V. villosa, V. walteri
Synonyms V. beckwithii var. trinervata
Name authority (Howell) Howell ex A. Gray: Bot. Gaz. 11: 290. (1886)
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