Viola Genus violet Violaceae

 

Viola sororia.section.Kevin C. Nixon.www.plantsystematics.org

Viola sororia.section.Kevin C. Nixon.www.plantsystematics.org (Accessed 5/2014).

Viola is a genus of low often stemless herbs with stipules. 

Leaves basal or alternate, simple, margin sometimes toothed or lobed. 

Viola sp. cleistogamous flowers.K. R. Robertson.www.life.illinois.edu

Viola sp. cleistogamous flowers.K. R. Robertson.Illinois Wildlife Survey.www.life.illinois.edu

Flowers bilaterally symmetrical, of two types, the characteristic spring flowers with petals (chasmogamous) and cryptic summer flowers that are produced near the base of the plant and remain closed; these are self-fertile (cleistogamous); spring flowers mostly purple, lavender or white, sometimes yellow; 5-parted, sepals often persistent with fruit. Petals distinct (not fused), the lowest one forming a spur, side petals often bearded; stamens surrounding the superior ovary 

Viola fruit and seeds.en.wikipedia.org

Viola fruit and seeds.en.wikipedia.org

Fruit becoming dry, a capsule splitting open; seeds with a fleshy body attached (aril) this attracts ants which disperse the seeds when seed is taken to nest, aril is consumed and seed is discarded. Seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals, foliage eaten by rabbits (Martin et al. 1951).