North Carolina Wildflowers

by Jeffrey S. Pippen | Back to Jeff's Plant Page | Jeff's Nature Pages


Special thanks to Harry LeGrand and Bruce Sorrie with this group!

Violaceae > Viola (violet, pansy)

Marsh Blue Violet, Bog Violet (Viola cucullata) Marsh Blue Violet, Bog Violet (Viola cucullata)
Macon Co., NC
12 May 2006

Common in NC in various wet habitats in the mountains.

Marsh Blue Violet, Bog Violet (Viola cucullata) Marsh Blue Violet, Bog Violet (Viola cucullata)
Macon Co., NC
12 May 2006

Marsh Blue Violet, Bog Violet (Viola cucullata) Marsh Blue Violet, Bog Violet (Viola cucullata)
Macon Co., NC
12 May 2006


Bird-foot Violet (Viola pedata)
Clay Co., NC
13 May 2006

Spring-blooming distinctive violet statewide in NC (although rare in the eastern coastal plain).
Bird-foot Violet (Viola pedata) Bird-foot Violet (Viola pedata)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006
Bird-foot Violet (Viola pedata)
Clay Co., NC
13 May 2006
Bird-foot Violet (Viola pedata) Bird-foot Violet (Viola pedata)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006

Blue Wood Violet, Early Blue Violet (Viola palmata) Blue Wood Violet, Early Blue Violet (Viola palmata)
Hardwood forest in Orange Co., NC
16 Apr 2009

Statewide in NC in various forested habitats, note hairy petioles and deeply dissected leaves.

Blue Wood Violet, Early Blue Violet (Viola palmata) Blue Wood Violet, Early Blue Violet (Viola palmata)
Hardwood forest in Orange Co., NC
16 Apr 2009

Lateral petals are bearded.

Blue Wood Violet, Early Blue Violet (Viola palmata) Blue Wood Violet, Early Blue Violet (Viola palmata)
Hardwood forest in Orange Co., NC
16 Apr 2009

This violet enjoys many different common names including Blue Wood Violet, Wood Violet, Early Blue Violet, Palmate Violet, Cleft Violet, and Three-lobed Violet.

Blue Wood Violet, Early Blue Violet (Viola palmata) Blue Wood Violet, Early Blue Violet (Viola palmata)
Hardwood forest in Orange Co., NC
16 Apr 2009

Blue Wood Violet, Early Blue Violet (Viola palmata) Blue Wood Violet, Early Blue Violet (Viola palmata)
Hardwood forest in Orange Co., NC
16 Apr 2009

This violet is stemless (acaulescent) as illustrated by the leaves and the flowers arising straight out of the soil.


Longspur Violet (Viola rostrata) Longspur Violet (Viola rostrata)
Haywood Co., NC
13 May 2005

Common in the NC mountains and especially fond of growing near hemlocks.

Longspur Violet (Viola rostrata) Longspur Violet (Viola rostrata)
Haywood Co., NC
15 Apr 2006
Longspur Violet (Viola rostrata) Longspur Violet (Viola rostrata)
Haywood Co., NC
15 Apr 2006

Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia)
Orange Co., NC
17 Mar 2007

Statewide and common in mesic forests in North Carolina.

Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia)
Orange Co., NC
17 Mar 2007

Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia)
Orange Co., NC
17 Mar 2007
Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006

White form purple streaks.

Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006
Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006

Arrowleaf Violet, Arrowhead Violet (Viola sagittata) Arrowleaf Violet, Arrowhead Violet (Viola sagittata)
Orange Co., NC
4 Apr 2007

Statewide and fairly common in North Carolina.

Arrowleaf Violet, Arrowhead Violet (Viola sagittata) Arrowleaf Violet, Arrowhead Violet (Viola sagittata)
Orange Co., NC
4 Apr 2007

Arrowleaf Violet, Arrowhead Violet (Viola sagittata) Arrowleaf Violet, Arrowhead Violet (Viola sagittata)
Orange Co., NC
4 Apr 2007

Arrowleaf Violet, Arrowhead Violet (Viola sagittata) Arrowleaf Violet, Arrowhead Violet (Viola sagittata)
Orange Co., NC
4 Apr 2007


Wild Pansy (Viola bicolor) Wild Pansy, American Field Pansy (Viola bicolor)
Moore Co., NC
14 Mar 2007

Statewide and common in North Carolina, American Field Pansy is native although it grows in weedy places like lawns, roadsides, etc.

Wild Pansy (Viola bicolor) Wild Pansy, American Field Pansy (Viola bicolor)
Moore Co., NC
14 Mar 2007

Note the sepals are about half the length of the petals.

Wild Pansy (Viola bicolor) Wild Pansy, American Field Pansy (Viola bicolor)
Moore Co., NC
14 Mar 2007

The stipules are large and deeply lobed.


Downy Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens) Downy Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006
Downy Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens) Downy Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006
Downy Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens) Downy Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006

Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata) Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata)
Ashe Co., NC
29 Apr 2007

Fairly common in the western half of NC in forested habitats.

Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata) Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata)
Ashe Co., NC
29 Apr 2007

Flowers are yellow, often with purple veins. Lateral petals are bearded.

Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata) Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata)
Ashe Co., NC
29 Apr 2007
Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata)
Clay Co., NC
14 May 2005
Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata) Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata)
Clay Co., NC
13 May 2006

Some individuals exhibit darkened leaf veins surrounding pale areas.

Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata)
Orange Co., NC
6 Apr 2013
Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata)
Orange Co., NC
6 Apr 2013
Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata)
Orange Co., NC
6 Apr 2013
Halberdleaf Violet, Spearleaf Violet (Viola hastata)
Orange Co., NC
6 Apr 2013

Bog White Violet (Viola lanceolata) Bog White Violet (Viola lanceolata)
Pender Co., NC
23 Apr 2006

Common in wet, sandy habitats in the NC coastal plain.


Primrose-leaved Violet (Viola primulifolia) Primrose-leaved Violet (Viola primulifolia)
Scotland Co., NC
20 Apr 2008
Primrose-leaved Violet (Viola primulifolia) Primrose-leaved Violet (Viola primulifolia)
Bladen Co., NC
25 Mar 2007

Primrose-leaved Violet is quite variable from very hairy to nearly hairless.

Primrose-leaved Violet (Viola primulifolia) Primrose-leaved Violet (Viola primulifolia)
Scotland Co., NC
20 Apr 2008
Primrose-leaved Violet (Viola primulifolia) Primrose-leaved Violet (Viola primulifolia)
Bladen Co., NC
25 Mar 2007

Statewide and common in various damp soil habitats, this violet is often treated as a Viola ×primulifolia (pro sp.), a hybrid between V. lanceolata and V. macloskeyi.


Canadian White Violet (Viola canadensis) Canadian White Violet (Viola canadensis)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006
Canadian White Violet (Viola canadensis) Canadian White Violet (Viola canadensis)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006
Canadian White Violet (Viola canadensis) Canadian White Violet (Viola canadensis)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006
Canadian White Violet (Viola canadensis) Canadian White Violet (Viola canadensis)
Clay Co., NC
19 May 2007
Canadian White Violet (Viola canadensis) Canadian White Violet (Viola canadensis)
Clay Co., NC
19 May 2007

Sweet White Violet (Viola pallens) Smooth White Violet, Wild White Violet, Northern White Violet (Viola pallens)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006

Uncommon in the western half of North Carolina along the banks of creeks, seepages, etc. Often classified as Violoa macloskeyi ssp. pallens.

Sweet White Violet (Viola pallens) Smooth White Violet, Wild White Violet, Northern White Violet (Viola pallens)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006
Sweet White Violet (Viola pallens) Smooth White Violet, Wild White Violet, Northern White Violet (Viola pallens)
Graham Co., NC
28 Apr 2006

Wild Pansy (Viola bicolor) European Field Pansy (Viola arvensis)
Durham Co., NC
2 May 2006

Introduced from Eruope and common statewide in NC in various disturbed habitats and lawns.

Wild Pansy (Viola bicolor) European Field Pansy (Viola arvensis)
Durham Co., NC
2 May 2006


unidentified violet
Macon Co., NC
12 May 2006

Note the leaves in this photo are some morning glory, not the violet. See below for a glimpse of this violet's leaves.

unidentified violet
Macon Co., NC
12 May 2006
unidentified violet
Macon Co., NC
12 May 2006

The following plants are not North Carolina species.


Darkwoods Violet, Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata) Darkwoods Violet, Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata)
Pulaski Trail, Shoshone Co., ID
6 May 2012

Found in the Pacific NW, this species grows in moist, wooded areas up to subalpine meadows.

Darkwoods Violet, Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata) Darkwoods Violet, Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata)
Pulaski Trail, Shoshone Co., ID
6 May 2012

Darkwoods Violet, Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata) Darkwoods Violet, Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata)
Pulaski Trail, Shoshone Co., ID
6 May 2012

Darkwoods Violet, Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata) Darkwoods Violet, Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata)
Pulaski Trail, Shoshone Co., ID
6 May 2012

Darkwoods Violet, Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata) Darkwoods Violet, Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata)
Pulaski Trail, Shoshone Co., ID
6 May 2012

Darkwoods Violet, Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata) Darkwoods Violet, Roundleaf Violet (Viola orbiculata)
Pulaski Trail, Shoshone Co., ID
6 May 2012




Annotated habitat and distribution information listed above is from Radford, Ahles, & Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. UNC Press; and from personal observations and discussions with Will Cook, Harry LeGrand, and Bob Wilbur. Common names from personal experience and supplemented by the following resources USDA plants website, Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia, and NatureServe.


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Created on ... May 7, 2006 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com