Viola odorata sweet violet Violaceae VIOD*; Bx, pb; Q; R;


Viola (Accessed 5/2014).

Viola odorata is a stemless, perennial  herb, colonial from a creeping rhizome and leafy stolons. 

Leaves alternate, basal, and along stolons, broadly egg-shaped to round, to 6 cm, hairy, tip rounded or bluntly pointed, base lobed, margin bluntly toothed. 

Flowers of two types, open flowers, bilaterally symmetric, 5 parted, deep violet to white, very fragrant, side petals bearded, style bent back and hooked at tip, sepals hairy, ovary and fruit hairy; inconspicuous, closed flowers with egg-shaped, blooming later in season; open flowers bloom in spring. 

Fruit purplish; seeds large, yellowish, to 0.4 cm long, 0.2 cm wide, including a fleshy attachment (aril) to 0.1 cm, seeds often dispersed by ants that eat the aril and drop the seed further from parent plant (Beattie and Lyons 1975). 

Wetland status: NL. 

Frequency in NYC: Infrequent. 

Origin: Europe. 

Habitat: Escaped from cultivation, usually near old gardens or house sites.