Lanceleaf Violet, Viola lanceolata

Lanceleaf Violet

Viola lanceolata

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Bloom Time: Spring
Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Soil Conditions: Clay, Loam
Soil Moisture: Moist, Wet
Color: White
Fragrance: No
Height: 3-6 inches
Spacing: 3-6 inches

Lanceleaf Violet, Viola lanceolate, forms a small rosette of ascending to erect basal leaves. Individual basal leaves are about 2-6 inches long and ¼-¾inch across; their blades are narrowly lanceolate, lanceolate, narrowly elliptic, or elliptic in shape with crenate margins. The upper blade surface is medium green and hairless, while the lower surface is pale green and hairless to sparsely hairy. The leaf blades taper gradually into slender petioles; the latter are light green to reddish purple and hairless to sparsely hairy.

Individual nodding flowers are produced from pedicels up to 6 inches long that originate from the rootstock. These pedicels are light green to reddish purple and hairless. The flowers span about ½-inch across (or a little more). Each flower has 5 spreading white petals, 5 light green sepals, and the reproductive organs. The lowermost petal has prominent purple veins, while the 2 lateral petals are purple-veined to a lesser extent. The petals are usually beardless (without prominent tufts of hair), although the lateral petals may have some residual hairs that are greenish white. The nectar spur of the lowermost petal is relatively short and stout. The sepals are linear-lanceolate and hairless; they are much shorter than the petals. The blooming period occurs during late spring for about 3 weeks. Fertilized flowers are replaced by seed capsules about 1/3" long; these capsules are light green and ellipsoid-oblongoid in shape. Later in the summer, cleistogamous (self-fertile) flowers are produced from slender stolons. These cleistogamous flowers lack petals and remain inconspicuous. Each seed capsule eventually splits open into 3 parts, ejecting the small dark brown seeds.

The preference is full sun, wet to moist conditions, and an acidic soil containing sand, gravel, or peat. Lance-Leaved Violet tolerates standing water to a greater extent than other violets. The root system consists of a short narrow crown with fibrous roots.

Habitats include wet to moist sand prairies, sandy swales, soggy shrub prairies, moist sandy savannas, bogs, gravelly areas along streams or lakes, and flood-prone areas of sandy paths. It is typically found in high quality natural areas where there is limited competition from other plants.

 Further Information

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