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Very Uncommon Species

  With the exception of Viola nephrophylla, the species listed on this page are rare or very uncommon in the New York - New England region.  Most residents in these seven states will seldom encounter these plants.  Viola nephrophylla is somewhat more common in the northern parts of the region. (Refer to the Species Distribution page for details.

We cover them briefly here in order to keep the keys on this site from becoming too complicated and challenging.  Those wishing to view more details are encouraged to consult some of the references listed below.



Viola palustris  L.       (northern marsh violet)
  Perennial; stemless, stoloniferous; rhizome slender; herbage glabrous; petals pale blue-violet to nearly white; lateral petals sometimes bearded; sepals not ciliate. Spurred petal usually glabrous.  Spur about 2.0 mm long.  Most similar to Viola pallens and Viola blanda.  (Stolonosae)
  For all of the following:  perennial, stemless, rhizomes thick; not stoloniferous; leaves unlobed; spurs 1-3 mm long. Lateral petals typically or at least sometimes bearded. Capsules glabrous.  (Boreali-americanae)


Viola hirsutula  Brainerd       (southern wood violet)
  Petals magenta to purple; upper leaf surfaces with silvery appressed hairs.
3. Viola nephrophylla  Greene       (northern bog violet)
  Petals blue-violet; Sepals not ciliate.  Petioles, leaves and peduncles glabrous. Leaves as wide as long or wider, gray-green, or tinged purple on lower surface. 
4. Viola novae-angliae  House     (New England violet)
  Petals in shades of light to dark blue-violet. Spur petals sometimes bearded. Sepals not ciliate.  Leaves narrowly ovate to narrowly triangular in shape, with uniform, low teeth.
5. Viola pectinata  Bicknell     (pectinate-leaved violet)
  Petals blue-violet. Spur petal densely bearded. Sepals not ciliate. Leaf blades glabrous, longer than wide during flowering, but widening later in fruit. Teeth of leaf lateral margins coarse and conspicuous basally, gradually becoming shorter and finer toward the leaf tip.


  Flora of North America Editorial Committee, editors. Flora of North America, vol. 6.  (Violaceae) Oxford University Press, New York, NY.
  Haines, Arthur.  The Genus Viola of Maine: A Taxonomic and Ecological Reference.  V.F. Thomas Co., Bowdoin, Maine, 04287. 2001   [ out of print ]
  Ballard, H.E. Webpage URL:   https://people.ohio.edu/ballardh/vgpena/home.htm.
     (Dr. Ballard is one of the leading researchers on Violaceae of North America.  Most of his work is very technical.)

Page compiled by  Arieh Tal, 2023.