Skip to main content
  1. Family: Violaceae Batsch
    1. Viola L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and is native to Europe, Asia-Tropical, Africa, Falkland Island, Hawaii, Southern America, Northern America, Australasia and Asia-Temperate..


    Violaceae, N. K. B. Robson. Flora Zambesiaca 1:1. 1960

    Herbs, rarely shrublets.
    Leaves alternate, petiolate, usually ± serrate; stipules sometimes foliaceous, persistent.
    Inflorescence almost always of single flowers in the leaf axils; pedicels not articulated.
    Flowers zygomorphic.
    Sepals almost equal, usually with a basal appendage (± absent in V. abyssinica).
    Petals unequal, the anterior usually larger than the others with a basal spur of varying length, blue or purple to yellow or white but always yellow at the base.
    Stamens with very short free filaments; anthers free or slightly coherent, with a ± thick dorsal prolongation of the connective ("connective-appendage"), and the ventral anthers with two appendages which extend into the spur and secrete nectar ("spur-appendages").
    Ovary with 3 placentas, each bearing numerous ovules; style usually bent downwards and ± thickened towards the apex, entire or with various appendages; stigma terminal, or apparently lateral when the style apex is reflexed.
    Fruit a loculicidal capsule with 3 contractile valves keeled and thickened along the sutures.
    Seeds globose-ovoid, usually smooth, with abundant endosperm and with or without a thickened aril.

    Violaceae, C. Grey-wilson. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1986

    Herbs or rarely subshrubs
    Leaves alternate, peiolate; stipules entire to variously toothed or lobed, sometimes foliaceous
    Flowers solitary, axillary, zygomorphic; pedicels with a pair of small bracteoles, generally above the middle
    Sepals ± equal, usually with a short basal appendage
    Petals unequal, the lowermost (the lip) usually larger, sometimes equal to or smaller than the other petals and with a short or long basal spur directed backwards
    Stamens with very short free filaments and free or slightly coherent anthers; connective-appendages entire, generally oblong or ovate; lower 2 anthers each with an appendage extending into the spur and which excretes nectar
    Ovary generally with numerous ovules; style usually deflexed downwards and thickened towards the tip
    Fruit a loculicidal capsule with 3 contractile valves
    Seeds usually smooth, with or without an aril.



    Native to:

    Afghanistan, Alabama, Alaska, Albania, Alberta, Aleutian Is., Algeria, Altay, Amur, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Arizona, Arkansas, Assam, Austria, Azores, Baleares, Baltic States, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Borneo, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, British Columbia, Bulgaria, Burundi, Buryatiya, California, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Central European Rus, Chatham Is., Chile Central, Chile North, Chile South, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Colombia, Colorado, Connecticut, Corse, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Delaware, Denmark, District of Columbia, Dominican Republic, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, East Himalaya, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Falkland Is., Finland, Florida, France, Føroyar, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Gulf of Guinea Is., Gulf States, Hainan, Hawaii, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Inner Mongolia, Iowa, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Japan, Jawa, Kamchatka, Kansas, Kazakhstan, Kentucky, Kenya, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, Kuril Is., Labrador, Laos, Lebanon-Syria, Leeward Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Libya, Louisiana, Madagascar, Madeira, Magadan, Maine, Malawi, Malaya, Maluku, Manchuria, Manitoba, Maryland, Masachusettes, Mauritius, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Mongolia, Montana, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nebraska, Nepal, Netherlands, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Guinea, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New South Wales, New York, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Newfoundland, Nigeria, Norfolk Is., North Carolina, North Caucasus, North Dakota, North European Russi, Northern Provinces, Northwest European R, Northwest Territorie, Norway, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ogasawara-shoto, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oman, Ontario, Oregon, Pakistan, Palestine, Panamá, Pennsylvania, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Prince Edward I., Qinghai, Queensland, Québec, Rhode I., Romania, Rwanda, Réunion, Sakhalin, Sardegna, Saskatchewan, Saudi Arabia, Sicilia, Socotra, Somalia, South Australia, South Carolina, South Dakota, South European Russi, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Svalbard, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tasmania, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Uganda, Ukraine, Utah, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vermont, Victoria, Vietnam, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, West Siberia, West Virginia, Windward Is., Wisconsin, Wyoming, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Yukon, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Argentina Northeast, Bermuda, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, KwaZulu-Natal, Puerto Rico, Sinai, Trinidad-Tobago, Tristan da Cunha

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Viola L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Melville, R. [1512], Australia 35439.000
    Rico, L. [1957], Morocco K000564913
    Drayton, Peru 9025.000
    s.coll. [Cat. no. s.n.], Jawa K001132289
    Wight, R. [Cat. no. s.n.] Ion K001132797


    First published in Sp. Pl.: 933 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Nikitin, V. (2008 publ. 2009). Violets (Viola L., Violaceae) of republic of Tuva Novosti Sistematiki Vysshikh Rastenii 40: 164-183.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • —F.T.A. 1: 105.

    Flora Zambesiaca

    • Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 402 (1754).
    • Sp. Pl. 2: 933 (1753)

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5:402 (1754)
    • Sp. Pl.: 933 (1753)


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.