Viola adunca
(Dog Violet)

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Dog Violet, Hookedspur Violet, Early Blue Violet, Sand Violet, Western Dog Violet
    Lifespan: Perennial
    Zones: 3 - 8
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: March - June
    Status: Native

Viola adunca, or Dog Violet, is native to the Western United States, as well as the northern tier of the Eastern US. It is a hardy perennial, which grows in dry, sandy, open clearings, woodland edges and grasslands. It blooms in early to late spring, with small, often deep purple flowers.

Many Viola species are quite similar to each other and difficult to distinguish. This species has several characteristics that aid in identification. First, is its habitat: it prefers very dry, sandy habitats, in open areas, compared to most of its lookalikes prefering moist deciduous woodlands. Second, it has darker, thicker leaves (although often small), that look like the kind of leaves on a plant that overwinters as a leaf. Additionally, Viola adunca tends to have a single stem that comes up from the ground, and the entire plant grows from that, where many violets have multiple root contact points, Viola adunca nearly always seems to have just one, even when there are many trailing stems on the ground, they can all be traced back to a single stem that is rooted. The closest lookalike species is Viola conspersa, which has lighter flowers, which are larger, and which also typically grows in moister habitats. See image for a comparison.

Go Back

Back to The Plants.

Back to A-Z Listing.