Viola vallicolla (Yellow Meadow Violet) - photos and description







General: A violet with leafy stems, with many of the leaves adhering to the flowering stems below ground. Plants glabrous.

Taxonomic key to Saskatchewan's violets.

Flowers: Flowers are bright yellow, the lower petal with brown lines, the lateral petals with a single brown line in their centre. Lateral petals bearded. We measured a flower at 2 cm diameter. The spur is short, measured to 2-3 mm long.

Leaves: Leaves ovate with cordate or truncate bases. The leaves on flower stems are alternate, and there are many leaves growing from the crown of the plant. We measured the blades of two leaves, one was 4 cm long by 2 cm wide, the other was 25 mm long and 24 mm wide.

Height: We measured plants to 6 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist meadows. We have observed that Viola vallicola is found in moist meadows, whereas similar species, Viola nuttallii, is found on dry prairie.

Abundance: Listed as fairly common by Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan.

Origin: Native.

Similar species: This plant is very similar to another early-flowering violet - Viola nuttallii. According to The Flora of Canada the two can be distinguished by the shape of their leaves. The leaves of Viola vallicola are ovate, with cordate or truncate bases, and the leaves usually less than 3 times as long as wide. While the leaves of Viola nuttallii are lanceolate, with tapering bases, and usually at least 3 times as long as wide.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken on May 9th, and May 12th, grassy meadows, The Big Muddy, about 150 km south of Regina, SK, and meadow at bottom of hill, Qu'Appelle Valley, about 100 km west of Regina, SK, and May 27th, prairie meadow in valley bottom, East Block of Grasslands National Park, about 275 km southeast of our home in Regina, SK.