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Lanceleaf Violet, Bog White Violet, Strapleaf Violet - Viola lanceolata


Family: Violaceae - Violet family Genus Common Name: Violet Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Viola lanceolata - Lanceleaf Violet, Bog White Violet, Strapleaf Violet. Viola lanceolata is a violet species with a widespread distribution in North America, although it is relatively uncommon in most of its range due to its requirement for a quite wet habitat. It grows in floodplains, bogs, and other areas with seasonal inundation throughout the eastern half of the continent and west to Nebraska and Oklahoma, with disjunct populations in Oregon, Washington State, and British Columbia. Depending on whether you consider Western Bog Violet to be classified as Viola lanceolata var. occidentalis or Viola primulifolia var. occidentalis, it may also be in California. Some sources say that V. lanceolata is native to its western range; others say it was introduced in the 19th or early 20th century.

Some authorities recognize a variety (or subspecies) of Viola lanceolata in the southeastern United States, V. lanceolata var. vittata. It is characterized by more linear than lanceolate leaves, which are more than 10 times as long as wide. The leaves of var. lanceolata are less than 8 times as wide as long, and are lanceolate rather than linear. (Viola primulifolia have leaves which are usually no more than 3 times as long as wide.

Found in:
AL, AR, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, GS
Viola lanceolata

Distribution of Viola lanceolata in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 15 Dec 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: May Prairie State Natural Area, Coffee County, TN Date: 2016-June-01Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The flower of Lanceleaf Violet is white with purple veins. The veins are on the lowest petal, and occasionally on the lateral petals (barely visible in this photo). The lateral petals are usually sparsely bearded, but may be unbearded. This specimen appears to be unbearded.
Viola lanceolata

Site: AEDC, Coffee County, TN Date: 2017-May-24Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Viola lanceolata is known as "Bog White Violet" because it grows in bogs and other wet areas which are usually seasonally inundated.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Viola lanceolata

Site: May Prairie State Natural Area, Coffee County, TN Date: 2016-June-01Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves of Lanceleaf Violet are an elongated lanceolate (usually), linear, or elliptic shape. The blade is up to about 5 inches long, held on a petiole that may also be up to about 5 inches long. The flower is on a peduncle that may be over 6 inches tall.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Viola lanceolata

Site: May Prairie State Natural Area, Coffee County, TN Date: 2016-June-01Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves of Viola lanceolata are all basal, with usually 2 to 6 leaves per plant arising directly from the rhizomes. Individual plants may be connected together by stolons forming small colonies.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Viola lanceolata

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer